A family of Millwall fans has called on fellow supporters to get behind their little boy’s campaign to get the life-changing drugs he needs.
Six-year-old Harvey is so mad on Millwall that he named his goldfish after Danny Situ and insisted on getting changed into his new kit in the back of the car last week because he couldn’t wait until he got home.
On a scale of one to ten of fandom, dad Dean, 45, describes them both as an eleven.
In a long battle with the NHS to get offer a new drug for Harvey and the 77 other children in the UK with ultra-rare disease, Morquio, the family has launched a petition online to try and get the issue debated in parliament.
With a minimum of ten thousand signatures required for the topic to be raised in the House of Commons, Dean and Harvey’s mum, Vikki, are asking other Millwall fans to back their campaign.
“It would just be brilliant to have their support,” said Dean, of Galleywall Road, who has been a fan since he was nine-years-old. “We’ve been told we’re the most generous fans when we’ve done collections. It would mean such a lot to know that fans from the same team as the one me and Harvey support are behind us.”
Morquio is an inherited illness which means children like Harvey – who told the News his favourite things are “playing football and eating all the chocolate cake” – rarely grow to above three foot tall or live beyond their twenties. It also means his body and energy levels slowly deteriorate over time. A year ago Harvey was never seen without a ball in his hand, but now he struggles to have his beloved kickabouts because he is so tired and his joints ache from walking.
“Now he’s getting a bit more tired he can’t do it as much as he used to,” said delivery driver Dean. “He’s struggling to kick a ball around now but the medication would help give him more energy,” added the desperate dad, who said if he had the chance to get up and speak at the next Millwall game he’d say: “Please if you could just hep Harvey to get the petition signed so we can get this medication funded that’s what he desperately needs so he can go to other games. It would change his life.”
After a successful clinical trial, the drug Vimizim was shown to help children like Harvey grow stronger, need fewer operations, walk without mobility aids and live for longer.
Since it was licensed by the European Medicines Agency in April last year, Harvey and his mum and dad have been waiting to hear whether the NHS would pay for the expensive drug to be offered in this country.
The decision has been postponed until October, so the family are trying to get as much support behind them as possible before then. To sign the petition, which already has around 2,500 signatures, visit: https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/104559