From Western Telegraph:
A Newport couple is hoping to raise £60,000 to fund treatment for their two-year-old daughter, diagnosed with a rare form of childhood cancer.
Eliza Donnelly was diagnosed with stage 4 Neuroblastoma in July. This is a rare cancer of specialised nerve cells, diagnosed in less than a 100 children a year in the UK.
In Eliza’s case the cancer has spread throughout her body and into her bone marrow. They spent most of the summer in Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospital where she underwent intensive chemotherapy.
“When we first came into hospital she was in a serious condition and in severe pain, arching her back to stop the tumour pushing against her organs, it was horrific,” said her father Robin Donnelly.
“My heart was broken into a thousand pieces and I spent the first few weeks desperately trying to make a plan to fix Eliza in between completely falling apart”
Robin and his wife Maya spent as much time as they could researching the disease and found out that there are several treatments outside the NHS that would give Eliza the best chance of survival.
The family is currently looking into a specialist clinic in Germany that can offer Eliza post-chemotherapy immune-building treatment as well as new treatments available in the US. If they have to go to the US, which Robin says is “a very real possibility” then the amount of money it will cost will be close to £250,000.
At the moment they are using a specialist diet, supplements and equipment to help Eliza’s immune system fight the cancer and to limit the effects of intensive chemotherapy.
“It is expensive but, together with her cheeky determination, it seems to be working,” said Robin. “Eliza is happy and laughing as she has not done for many months.
“She has touched the hearts of many people with her determination to make a personal connection, her genuine fascination in what’s around her and a great sense of humour.”
The family has set up a Just Giving page to help fund the complementary treatments and the local community is rallying round to help raise funds, any excess money will go to other children with same disease.
The first fundraiser will be a Music for Eliza evening at Bluestone Brewery this Friday, September 9 from 7pm with music, barbecue and bar. Tickets cost £5.
For more information see Music for Eliza on Facebook andwww.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/Help-Eliza.
“We want to do everything we can to give her the best chance,” said Robin. “With this treatment, the chemo and Eliza’s amazingly positive character, she has made huge strides forward in her overall health.
“The battle is not won, we know there is a long rocky road ahead as it is extremely difficult to clear and prevent deadly relapses, but we feel we are on the right track.”