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Last Updated: Wednesday, 13 September 2006, 20:17 GMT 21:17 UK
Boy's US cancer treatment closer
Bobby Wright
Bobby Wright was diagnosed with neuroblastoma last year
The family of a Devon boy with a rare form of cancer is hoping he may be able to travel to America for treatment by the end of this year.

Bobby Wright was diagnosed with neuroblastoma in April 2005.

Hundreds of thousands of people have donated towards the four-year-old's appeal to fund treatment which is not available in the UK.

Bobby's family, from Kenn near Exeter, have even resorted to cold calling methods to raise the money.

If I've got to swim across the Atlantic with him on my back, I will
Kevin Wright

Since he was diagnosed, Bobby has been through surgery and two rounds of chemotherapy to control the disease.

Bobby's parents, Jacquie and Kevin , have been told that with the treatment he is receiving from the NHS there is an only a 20% chance he will live for more than five years.

"For me when they said the word cancer it was like someone reached inside me with an icy hand and gripped my heart, I could barely breathe," said Mr Wright.

The treatment they have found in the US claims to offer a cure in some cases, the antibody therapy is at least two years away from being licensed in the UK.

'Very humbling'

But treatment costs in the region of 250,000 and the Wrights have turned their home into a call centre in an effort to raise the funds.

It has involved calling hundreds of thousands of local people to buy raffle tickets and their efforts have raised 180,000 so far, but not everyone appreciates being cold-called.

"We've rung hundreds of thousands of people and the people who get seriously annoyed are a small minority," said one volunteer, Ian Weir.

The Wrights hope to raise enough money for Bobby's treatment by the end of the year.

Mr Wright said the response from the people in the county had been "humbling".

"There is no doubt my son will get the best treatment in the world, if I've got to swim across the Atlantic with him on my back, I will."


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