Edinburgh boy Rudi Abbot's family make desperate plea for help to raise funds for brain tumour treatment

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An young Hearts fan with a rare brain tumour has just one month before he has to travel to America for life-saving treatment – and his family are making a desperate plea for help to raise the necessary funds.

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Eight-year-old Rudi Abbot was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive grade four brain tumour, known as pineoblastoma, in the centre of his brain in August 2020. Since then he has undergone gruelling treatment, extensive and extremely complex brain surgeries and even travelled to Germany for 6 weeks of proton therapy.

He then spent four months receiving extremely intensive chemotherapy at Edinburgh Sick Kids. His chemo finished in April 2021 and he has been gradually recovering from the horrendous side effects of the 10 months of treatment, during which Rudi experienced nausea, physical weakening and extreme exhaustion.

Rudi Abbot rings the bell to mark the end of his chemotherapy last yearRudi Abbot rings the bell to mark the end of his chemotherapy last year
Rudi Abbot rings the bell to mark the end of his chemotherapy last year

But in February this year Rudi and his family received the devastating news that more tumours had appeared on the schoolboy’s MRI scan.

And after doctors broke the news that the treatment available in the UK had reached its limit, Rudi’s aunt Catherine launched a fundraiser for help to send Rudi to the US, where he is able to receive treatment through a trial phase.

The GoFundMe page has raised more than a quarter of the £250,000 target and Rudi has now been accepted onto the trial with Sick Kids in Seattle. But the family has said time is running out before the youngster has to set off for America.

Ben Abbot, Rudi’s dad, said: “The hard truth is, though, that we need to get him to this solitary trial in the States.

Rudi Abbot is suffering from a rare brain tumourRudi Abbot is suffering from a rare brain tumour
Rudi Abbot is suffering from a rare brain tumour

“Yesterday we had it confirmed by a world specialist of his illness that there is, definitively, no other trial anywhere on Earth. So there’s nothing else that offers any hope for our boy.”

The family is making one last plea to their community for help to reach their fundraising goal.

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The family have been supported by a multinational company to overcome the battle with health insurance when receiving healthcare internationally, however this has not been enough to escape the red tape. Rudi's family are now keen for intervention from the Scottish Government to support Rudi in order for him to receive the financial support for the health insurance necessary for him to receive the critical treatment he needs.

Ben said: “We will raise the money. Rudi has continued to take it in his stride, always staying positive and trying to live a somewhat normal life.”

The trial Rudi has been accepted onto starts in June and people around the country are running marathons, selling art and fund raising in order to help send Rudi overseas for treatment.

More than 2,000 people have donated to the cause, with many having left emotional messages of support for the Edinburgh boy.

One supporter said: “We believe in you Rudi. You’re a total legend. We love you and your wonderful family. Rooting for you.”

Another added: “He deserves the chance to live a full and happy life. He’s such a great boy.”

Catherine and the rest of Rudi’s family have been blown away by the reaction to the page.

“We are grateful for any support that you are able to give and will update this page as we have more information or developments,” she said.

“If you have an idea or challenge you would like to take on to raise money for Rudi please get in touch.

“If any money raised is not required in Rudi’s battle we will donate the funds to the amazing and hugely underfunded Brain Tumour Charity.”

Those wishing to donate can go to https://www.gofundme.com/f/qr6c4c-rally-for-rudi