The Free Press is today calling on kind-hearted readers to dig deep and support a six-year-old’s brave fight against cancer.
“Cheeky” Eve Gascoigne was diagnosed with an ultra-rare form of the disease after brain surgery to remove a tumour before Christmas.
A JustGiving page set up by Eve’s parents has already generated at least £13,632 for Eve to have proton beam therapy in America.
Devoted parents, Phillipa Batten and Lee Gascoigne of Pasture Rise, have been overwhelmed by people’s generosity.
Phillipa told the Free Press: “On Saturday someone made an anonymous donation of £3,000.
“We have had people from America message us as well to tell us they have spare bedrooms we could stay in if we go. I never thought in our wildest dreams we’d get to where we are. We still have a long way to go, but I’m confident that we can do it.”
Proton beam therapy is not currently available in this country, but is fast becoming a preferred option to conventional radiotherapy.
The treatment does not damage surrounding brain tissue when it targets cancerous cells - meaning Eve will be much less likely to develop any side effects.
Phillipa said: “It’s just something we feel we have to do.
“We don’t want her to have the traditional radiotherapy that’s available in this country, due to its long-lasting side effects.
“Proton beam therapy is much better for her and her developing brain.”
Eve’s nine-week treatment will cost £140,000 and it is hoped the NHS will cover the costs.
But the family are raising money themselves in case their Independent Funding Request is rejected.
Phillipa said: “We have change the target from £5,000 to £150,000. As parents we are both paranoid that we are not going to get the funding that we need.
“So we are trying to raise the money ourselves so we can take her regardless of whether we get the money from the NHS or not.”
The funds will cover flights to America, the proton beam therapy and general living costs while in the States.
If every one of Bridlington’s circa 37,000 residents donated just £3.70, the family’s fundraising would target would be met in a day.
“If we do get the funding from the NHS we are going to keep the £5,000 - which was our original target - so we can still pay for our living costs,” said Phillipa.
“And the rest of the money - we will donate to charity. It will either go to Candle Lighters, Kids’n’Cancer, or we might donate it to another family that is going through something similar.”
Eve was due to return to hospital for a further course of chemotherapy — but her low white blood cell count meant treatment was postponed until next week.
Her diagnosis has also changed and her tumour is now classed as an Astroblastoma, which is even rarer than myoepithelial carcinoma.
She has now lost her hair, but mum Phillipa says she is getting used to it.
“She didn’t like it at first, obviously, but she’s fine and not wearing a hat as much indoors anymore,” Phillpa added.
The dedicated mum has even “braved the shave” herself to support her daughter.
Remarkable Eve returned to school recently, despite her diagnosis and her mum says she is still "full of beans".
Please support our campaign to help Eve by making a donation at www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/EveGascoigne