Little Robin Samuel loves to go climbing with mum and dad - and will one day be big enough and old enough to go himself.

But the 18-month-old still has a mountain to climb before he’s fit and well after being diagnosed with high-risk neuroblastoma cancer when he was just a year old.

He is under the care of Barnet General and Great Ormond Street hospitals but needs specialist treatment in the US to have a chance of a life free of the illness.

Journalist Rachel Samuel and composer husband Nick have had to launch an online fundraising campaign from their home in Muswell Hill to find the money to take Robin to New York for treatment that is not available to Robin on the NHS.

Their little boy has had a nine-hour operation and been having chemo treatment, which so far has been successful.

“Unfortunately, we now need to go across to the States to get treatment to guarantee keeping the cancer away,” Rachel explained. “It would allow Robin to grow up healthy and hospital free.”

Robin was born at home in Tetherdown, off Fortis Green, in the flat where his mum and dad first met. Rachel was looking for a flatmate in 2019 and Nick, a composer for film and television, came to view the property. They fell in love at first sight and were married by 2021 — postponed for a year due to the pandemic, Rachel says.

Robin was born on January 19 last year. The couple received the devastating diagnosis about his cancer 10 days after his first birthday.

“We were thrust into the whirlwind of hospital appointments that has taken over our lives,” Rachel says. “But our neighbours rallied and cooked for us for an entire month when we returned from Great Ormond Street. It’s given us great strength and joy.”

The couple climb regularly at the Castle Climbing Centre in Green Lanes, near Manor House, and take little Robin with them.

“Our goal is to get Robin climbing before he is walking, so he can start to enjoy it as much as us,” Rachel adds.

Rachel, formerly head of communications at the Rainforest Foundation in Crouch Hill, says Robin is currently clear of cancer, but it can recur in later life.

To minimise the chances of this, he needs immunotherapy, but would only qualify on the NHS if his immune system was compromised after "high dose" chemo, which has its own dangers.

"The risks include seizures and fatal liver complications, due to the aggressive nature of neuroblastoma,” she fears.

“This treatment would leave him infertile, risk secondary cancer like leukemia and leave him deaf or have problems with his hearing, as well as have permanent heart, lung and thyroid issues.

“We cannot justify putting him through something that would destroy his natural defences.”

The NHS treatment is also not as advanced yet as in the US where it was developed.

This cutting-edge immune therapy should train his system to recognise microscopic cancer cells in future and prevent relapse in later life.

It will eventually arrive in the UK, mum says, but not in time for Robin. 

“That’s why we’ve started this CrowdFunder campaign,” Rachel pleads. “We urgently need to raise the cost of Robin’s treatment in the US that will give him the best chance of a healthy and hospital-free life.”

Robin has started talking. He enjoys singing, playing drums, listening to jazz like his composer dad, shouting at buses and most of all reading books — his mum works for the National Literacy Trust, as it happens.

They need the funds to give Robin a chance in life. Their target on the “” website is £500,000. They have so far reached just £20,000.

Visit to help baby Robin survive cancer.