A family has been left devastated after money raised by the people of Aylesbury for young Alex Novakovic’s cancer treatment has been frozen by investigators over suspicion of financial irregularities at the charity, Kids ‘N’ Cancer.
In mid-February, Alex was diagnosed with a intracranial relapse.
Rad, Alex’s father, said: “Alex’s previous doctor (Dr S. Zacharoulis), one of the world leading experts, had left the Royal Marsden and was operating at a Harley Street Clinic.
“We sought advice from Dr Zacharoulis and paediatric neurosurgeon, Christopher Chandler, who both recommended surgery to remove the growth before it possibly became malignant, which would create greater difficulties for future treatment.
“The surgery was conducted at the beginning of March at Harley Street, followed by chemotherapy treatment. Fortunately for us, we still had about £250,000 set aside in Kids ‘N’ Cancer Charity, raised by the good people of Aylesbury and others.”
However, the Charity Commission, the independent regulator of charities in England and Wales, has opened a statutory inquiry into Kids ‘N’ Cancer UK, registered charity number 1138702, and frozen its bank accounts.
The inquiry was opened on March 15 this year.
In the month preceding the inquiry opening, Mike Hyman (pictured), the CEO of Kids ‘N’ Cancer, was arrested on suspicion of theft.
Concerns had been raised as part of an investigation started by the BBC.
He is currently on bail until September. He denies any wrongdoing.
Rad said: “This, in itself, put me in a difficult financial situation in which I could not pay my hospital fees.
“Quite kindly, Harley Street had stated that they would defer fees until the trial had been resolved, however there is no guarantee that this resolution will involve the charity money set aside for Alex’s treatment becoming available,” Rad added.
“In the meantime, all costs – travelling to Harley Street, parking in London etcetera – I have had to finance, and I am only receiving income support, placing the family and myself into debt.
“So now we as a family are in a catch 22 situation. What about Alex’s rights and the family’s rights?
“Where and what are the safeguards for families in our predicament?” he asked.