The family of a little girl battling a rare and aggressive form of cancer are desperately appealing for funds to get her vital treatment.
Three-year-old Rebecca McKenna is fighting her way through treatment against stage-four high-risk neuroblastoma.
Neuroblastoma affects around 100 children each year in the UK and has the highest mortality rate of any children’s cancer.
Now her parents want to raise funds to send their daughter to the USA for treatment after they learned that she has an 80 percent risk of relapsing within two years.
Rebecca from Erskine, Renfrewshire, is currently receiving “very intense” treatment at the Royal Hospital for Children in Glasgow
Mum Victoria and dad Chris have discovered a drug trial in America which could significantly decrease Rebecca’s chance of her cancer returning.
The anxious parents have turned to the public for help in raising £140,000 to pay for treatment and other costs.
Chris, 37, described how Rebecca first fell ill mid-January after complaining of pain in her left leg and of an inflamed ear.
The issue with her ear cleared up after a visit to the doctor but problems with her leg persisted.
Chris said: “Our worst nightmare became reality. It’s every parent’s worst nightmare. We were so shocked, it was like we were in a dream.
“The treatment she is on is very intense, given over a 12 to 18-month period.
“Rebecca is currently receiving 90 days of rapid COJEC chemotherapy.
“After that, she will have surgery to remove the main tumour followed by another round of high-dose chemo, a stem cell transplant and, finally, three weeks of radiotherapy.
“Even after putting her through chemo, countless surgeries and aggressive radiotherapy, the chance of relapse within two years is still high.”
By the time of her diagnosis, Rebecca’s primary tumours were in her stomach and in her adrenal glands just above her kidneys.
The disease then spread to her bone marrow and finally her bones.
She has had chemotherapy sessions and is currently in hospital receiving antibiotics and other medicines.
Mum Victoria, 33, has studied other options to save her daughter’s life when she came across a drug trial called DFMO in Michigan.
Chris added that all the families they’ve made contact with that have undergone the trial have not suffered a relapse.
He said: “My wife made contact with families in Scotland who have gone through the same trial. None have relapsed.
“In one case, a two-year-old who went through the trial is getting on with life at 10. If we didn’t take this option, we’d regret it.
“She loves singing and dances when the nurses aren’t around. She’s shy when the other kids are in, though.
“If it wasn’t for the fact she has no hair and was hooked up to machines, you wouldn’t even know she was sick.”
Chris added: “We all know someone affected by cancer. You would do anything you could to make them well again and we are no different.
“This isn’t the first time cancer has devastated our family and, while we know the loss and pain it can bring, we won’t let it win this time.
“We need any donation, no matter how big or small, to help get Rebecca well again and back to being the bravest little girl we know. With your help, you could end up saving a wee girl’s life.”
The family has already managed to raise more than £28,000 on their fundraising page