Parents of a six-year-old girl with cancer have thanked donors in Bridlington for their generosity.
Eve Gascoigne needs to travel to America so she can undergo proton beam therapy, following an operation to remove a brain tumour.
To cover living costs over the nine weeks of treatment her dedicated parents, Phillipa Batten and Lee Gascoigne, set up a JustGiving page to raise £5,000.
Within just over 24 hours that target had been met and exceeded.
“We have been overwhelmed, breaking down,” said dad Lee, of Pasture Rise.
“A lot of people who donated we don’t even know.”
At the time of the Free Press going to print, the amount raised stood at £7,247.
Phillipa and Lee first noticed there was something wrong with Eve when she developed a slightly crossed right eye.
“We thought she just needed glasses or that she had some sort of eye problem,” said Phillipa.
But tests revealed the six-year-old had a large brain tumour on her frontal-right lobe that was pressing against her optic nerve.
Brave Eve underwent brain surgery to remove the tumour just four days after being diagnosed on November 24.
And the “cheeky” youngster had only one thing on her mind when she came round from the anaesthetic.
“The first thing she wanted when she woke up was a bowl of Cheerios. She hadn’t eaten for 12 hours before the operation,” said Lee.
Then came the agonising wait to find out whether or not the tumour was cancerous.
Further testing carried out at Great Ormond Street and in Germany revealed the tumour was an especially rare form of cancer, called Myoepithelial Carcinoma.
Only a handful of children worldwide have ever suffered from the cancer – which normally arises in a salivary gland.
“She’s still full of beans and that’s the hardest part about it,” said Phillipa.
“She’s on chemotherapy drugs and she will start to lose her hair. That will start falling out soon.”
Phillipa and Lee want to take Eve to America so she can have Proton Beam Therapy – which is not yet available in the UK – instead of conventional radiotherapy.
Proton Beam Therapy does not damage the surrounding tissues, which is important in children whose brains are still developing.
Phillipa said: “She’s not lost her personality at all and we don’t want her to lose that.
“We don’t want her to lose the spark that makes Eve, Eve.”
Because her cancer is so rare, Eve does not automatically meet the criteria for Proton Beam Therapy. Her parents have submitted an Independent Funding Request (IFR) for the NHS to cover around £150,000 needed for Eve’s treatment.
Phillipa said: “We are hoping that all the consultants on the NHS England Funding Panel will approve the Independent Funding Request.”
They should know within around eight weeks, but say they will try and raise the funds themselves if their request is turned down.
“If we get the funding, it will be like winning the lottery 10 times over,” said Phillipa.”
While the £5,000 target has been met, the JustGiving page is still accepting donations. If you would like to donate please visit www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/EveGascoigne
l Are you holding a fundraising event for Eve?