Northern Ireland

£1k raised for Oscar Knox stolen in Omagh

Knox family
Image caption Oscar Knox cuddles up with mum Leona and dad Stephen

Burglars have stolen £1,000 raised in a charity event for a three-year-old child with cancer.

Oscar Knox was diagnosed with neuroblastoma - a rare cancer which mainly affects children - in November.

On Friday night a "Take me out" event in Omagh raised £1,993 for the Mallusk boy's treatment.

However, £1,000 of that was stolen in a break-in at the home of one of the organisers in Omagh some time on Friday night or Saturday morning.

Police have said they are investigating the burglary at Coolnagard Lane.

An anonymous donor has since given £1,000 to the Oscar Knox Appeal to replace the stolen money.

Oscar's father Stephen said he was disgusted by the theft.

"I'm totally disgusted that somebody would do that given what it's for," he said.

"I'm sure the person who stole the money knew what was going on and knew what it was for so it's just sickening that somebody would do that,.

"We were so gutted for the girl who organised the event, she was absolutely distraught."

However, he praised the anonymous donor who had come forward with £1,000 for the appeal and said it was not the first time the family had encountered such generosity.

"There are some real good Samaritans out there," he said.

Image caption Oscar before he was diagnosed

"This whole process that we've been through with Oscar, we've seen some real stars, some absolutely brilliant people have done some great things for him. We've just seen the best of human nature."

Mr Knox said that Oscar had been responding well to treatment.

"He's doing brilliant, just really, really well," he said.

"Since his high dose chemo finished about six or eight weeks ago he's just going from strength to strength. He's eating really well again and running about playing with his wee sister.

"It's a real good break for him before his radiotherapy starts, we're just trying to get him built up again and get his strength back."

Earlier this year, Oscar's parents set up a Twitter account so they could update friends and family on Oscar's condition each time he was in hospital.

He is now followed by thousands of people across the world.

Ulster Unionist West Tyrone MLA Ross Hussey said whoever was responsible for the theft was beneath contempt.

"To break into a house and steal money which was raised via charitable donations for a young boy suffering from cancer is just sickening," he said.

"It is surely no coincidence that the house in which the money was being kept was targeted immediately after the fundraising event, so the thieves would have been well aware that the cash was intended for young Oscar Knox."

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