A SINGLE mother has issued a plea for help to raise £500,000 to fund life-saving treatment for her daughter.
Vicki Alderson said she could have as little as a few months to finance treatments unavailable on the NHS for her ten-year-old daughter, Gaby, who was diagnosed in September with stage 4 MYCN-amplified neuroblastoma.
The former North Yorkshire Police project manager, who attended Central School and Humersknott Academy, in Darlington, said after her daughter had displayed low energy levels a scan at the Friarage Hospital, in Northallerton revealed a mass on her abdomen.
Further tests showed she had the aggressive and rare cancer which affects a few children in the UK annually, alongside secondary cancers in her bones.
Ms Alderson, a former Northern Echo worker, said: “It’s been a whirlwind of emotions since Gaby’s diagnosis, you can’t take it in to start with.
“When Gaby had her hair cut short, we both cried. When it started falling out she made the decision to have all her hair shaved off.”
After 80 days of clinical trial treatment at Leeds General Infirmary, tests in December revealed while Gaby’s tumours had responded well, cancer remained in her bone marrow, meaning planned transplant surgery was postponed.
On Boxing Day, Gaby started a six-week heavy dose chemotherapy.
Ms Alderson said: “The latest treatment has really knocked Gaby for six and has taken her a while to recover from, but we are hoping to have her home for her birthday on Monday (February 10).
“We’re expecting the results of a biopsy, and hopefully if the cancer is gone from the bones we can start back on the clinical trial, but if it isn’t we’ve got to look at other options abroad.”
“We don’t have any time to raise an initial target of £250,000, and £500,000 by the end of the year.
“Even if Gaby has responded well, it is highly likely that she will relapse, so we are trying to get the funds together as quickly as possible, so she can have those choices, which would make a huge difference.”
Ms Alderson said while she had spent weeks with Gaby in hospital, her parents, Maureen and Keith, of New Marske, Cleveland, sister, Louise, and the South Otterington community had helped look after her six-year-old son, Maxwell, and had raised nearly £9,000 through a series of events.
She said Gaby was hoping to attend a fundraising sing-a-long event with South Otterington Community Choir at Tesco in Northallerton on Saturday, February 15, from 11am to noon.
For details about the campaign or to donate, visit Justgiving.com/NCCAUKGabrielles-journey or text GABR78 followed by an amount up to £10 to 70070.