The Story: About Lucy.
Lucy is my nine year-old niece and the daughter of my sister, Nicola.
Five-and-a-half years ago, on 24th January 2012, my sister Nicola (Lucy's mum) tragically died from sudden cardiac arrest at the age of 33, due to undiagnosed Dilated Cardiomyopathy (a heart condition).
Lucy was only four years old at the time and her sister, Amy, was almost two.
Nicola was also pregnant with their little sister, Ruby, who was born by c-section at 24 weeks gestation, during Nicola's attempted resuscitation. Ruby lived for 14 hours but died in her daddy's arms on Tuesday 25th January 2012.
Nicola and Lucy in September 2011
Since the tragedy of losing Nic and Ruby, Lucy and Amy have had their lives rebuilt around them by their loving Dad, dedicated 'Nannie' (my mum) and the rest of the family.
Lucy and Amy
On Monday 17th July 2017, our already broken hearts were shattered into a million pieces when Lucy was diagnosed with Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG), a terminal, inoperable and (so far) untreatable malignant brain tumour. We have since found out that the tumour is a Grade 4, meaning Lucy is expected to have only months to live.
Currently, treatment is limited to radiotherapy (of which there are several delivery methods) and chemotherapy on the NHS at Alder Hey and other hospitals in the UK. There has been very little research into DIPG and therefore, comparatively little is known about this type of cancer. We know it only affects children and the cruel nature and location of the tumour means that DIPG children gradually lose control of their bodily functions.
Our family is doing everything possible, amid the whirlwind of disbelief we find ourselves in, to find alternative therapies and options that may work either outside or alongside the NHS. It's our only hope of helping Lucy and if we have hope, we can keep going.
The above treatments do come at a cost, for example, the treatment in Mexico is estimated to cost at least £300,000 and even initial consultations can cost hundreds of pounds, so we would like to try and raise some funds to help towards this.
Any excess funds raised will go towards research into DIPG.
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