Peterborough online streamer launches fundraising appeal for nephew diagnosed with Leukaemia
A Peterborough online games streamer has launched a fundraising campaign in support of his nephew who has recently been diagnosed with Leukaemia.
James Battson (27) from Dogsthorpe is a charity streamer, who broadcasts regularly through the online platform Twitch, with every penny that he makes from advertising revenue or user subscriptions being donated to good causes.
In the past, he has held a 24 hour live stream in aid of SpecialEffect, a charity which specialises in helping disabled children access gaming as well as using his first paycheck from Twitch to pay for a new Xrocker gaming chair for a young gamer in Yaxley, after his existing one was damaged beyond repair in a house move.
He streams a variety of games on his channel batsfamgaming, and will be donating all earnings for the foreseeable future to the fundraiser set up to support his nephew Michael as he battles Leukaemia.
He has also ‘braved the shave’ with Michael to show his support when the time came to shave his head ahead of treatment.
Michael was diagnosed in January a week before his third birthday after experiencing extreme lethargy and a loss of colour. After initially being told he may have had anemia, Michael was eventually diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia and spent nine days in Addenbrooke’s Hospital before being allowed to return home.
He is now back at home and receiving treatment that is expected to last for the next two or three years.
Michael’s mum Lisa Bell said: “Everything began in November when he became really poorly with a chest infection and we were told he could also be anemic.
“He actually spent a week in Pilgrim Hospital in Boston being treated for suspected Bronchitis and given iron tablets for his suspected Anemia.
“In the middle of January though, I began to get calls from Michael’s school saying that he was really lethargic. He’d arrive at 8 and by 9 he would already be falling asleep.
“On January 27, his condition deteriorated quickly and his paleness turned into jaundice, he lost the colour in his lips and wouldn’t let anyone near him. He was taken to Peterborough City Hospital but after a few hours, were told we would be blue lighted to Addenbrooke’s as it was going to be one of two things, Sepsis or Cancer.
“That was the really tough part, not only was Michael diagnosed with Leukemia but only one of James (Michael’s Dad) and I was allowed to stay with him for treatment.”
After his time in hospital, Michael was sent home but still requires twice a week treatment in Addenbrooke’s, Cambridge, which is a 120-mile roundtrip for the family living in Gedney Hill.
He has also since admitted to have a Hickman Line fitted after ripping out his feeding tube a number of times. A Hickman Line is an internal catheter which runs from the top of his chest down to an artery above his heart. Whilst this will help Michael, it does limit what he can do because it can’t get wet or dirty, otherwise it could carry an infection straight into his heart.
During Michael’s time in hospital, dad James would send home reports on his condition in the form of viking logs. This was designed to keep spirits up in a tough situation and inspired by his hobby of viking reenactments, with Michael sometimes being referred to as a ‘little viking.’
These have proved so popular that they are now uploaded to a Facebook page called ‘Vikings log - Michael’s Leukemia Battle,’ where regular updates are posted about his progress.
Michael’s uncle James said: “This is a tremendous ordeal to deal with, especially when the three of them have always relied on each other for support, to all of sudden feel like that support is lost during such difficult times is heart wrenching, and I do not wish this upon anyone.
“Michael’s poor dad found out that his son had cancer and within the hour had to make his way home alone, and wasn’t able to see his son for a week, until they switched places.
“I know they are going through such a tough battle at the moment and that is why I wanted to start this fundraiser. I started off with a £1000 target and within 24 hours had to up it to £1700, then three days later to £3500. The online community has been so generous, it’s unbelievable.”
Lisa added: “James has been fantastic through this. Any money raised will go towards fuel costs and other essentials Michael needs or for Ward C2 at Addenbrooke’s, where he receives his treatment.
“We’ve had a company kindly donate £1000 and I just can’t put into words how grateful I am to all of those that have donated.
“Michael is such an active and happy child, he loved being outside and still has a really healthy appetite, his absolute favourite is beans and sausages. He has also had a blood transfusion to deal with and he’s done brilliantly, he is such a trooper. We’ve tried explaining the situation to him but he just usually shouts back ‘I’m not poorly.’
“Luckily my work has been fantastic with giving me time off so I can be there to support Michael and he is on the right track, even if it is a long one.
“If I had one message to other parents it would be to check carefully for the signs. Michael’s symptoms were bruising, as well as being lethargic and looking pale, something we’d have never associated with Leukaemia and just put down to him being anemic.”
Anyone that wishes to catch one of James’ streams can find them on twitch.tv/batsfamgaming.