Solving Kids’ Cancer UK

Ashlee's Urgent Appeal

Ashlee is 16 years old and loves music, fashion and her dog, Angel. Ashlee completed the bivalent vaccine clinical trial in December 2021.
£43,889
raised
by 1003 supporters
RCN 1135601

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Story

Ashlee is a shy but thoughtful young lady. Ashlee was diagnosed with high-risk neuroblastoma at the age of six but relapsed for the second time in November 2018, which devastated her family. Once a child relapses, their chances of long-term survival drop drastically to less than one in ten.

Thanks to an incredible community of support, Ashlees campaign raised the £239,000 needed for her to start the bivalent vaccine clinical trial in New York in December 2020, to try to keep her cancer away.

Ashlee's story

In February 2013, Ashlees mum, Lisa, took her to the GP as for the past few months, she had complained on and off about abdominal pain and an ache down her legs. Initially, it was thought her abdominal pain may be due to food intolerance but one evening, screaming in pain, Ashlee was taken to A&E.

She was kept in hospital for a week with suspected appendicitis before being moved to Yorkhill Hospital in Glasgow where she underwent various tests and scans.

Ashlees parents were not convinced her symptoms were due to food intolerances but were shocked to hear a diagnosis of stage 4 high-risk neuroblastoma, a disease they had never heard of.

"From that point onwards, we found an inner strength and held onto hope that we could get our daughter through what was to follow it was awful. Hearing your child screaming, the look of terror on her face while being poked with needles, feeding tubes put up her nose and down her throat, trying to insert a catheter into her little body while awake which distressed her so much, she hardly spoke for a week," Ashlees mum, Lisa.

Treatment

Ashlees treatment began and she endured a year of chemotherapy including Rapid COJEC, TVD and then the Beacon trial. In January 2014, surgeons managed to remove 100% of her abdominal tumour and she went on to receive a stem cell transplant, followed by six months of immunotherapy.

By December 2014, Ashlee had completed her treatment of radiotherapy and was finally free of disease.

In July 2016, the family were devastated when routine scans revealed Ashlee had relapsed. She started chemotherapy again and lost her lovely hair all over again. She then received MIBG therapy at UCLH, which worked well on Ashlees relapse spot in her shoulder. She then had to have further chemotherapy to clear disease in her bone marrow and the family chose to do a maintenance treatment of Retinoic acid for six cycles up until July 2018.

In November 2018, routine scans picked up another relapse, showing disease in Ashlees shoulder again and a few other little spots in her femur.

Thankfully, following even more chemotherapy, Ashlee's scans showed no active disease.

Ashlee travelled to the US and began the vaccine trial in March 2020 in the hope of helping keep her cancer away. Sadly, just before the 5th vaccine was due re-assessment scans showed disease again in the shoulder. This was treated with radiotherapy and chemotherapy at Ashlee's home treating centre. Once back in remission, Ashlee was able to start the vaccine trial again in late 2020 and by December 2021 had completed the trial with clear scans.

Fundraising campaign

Ashlees campaign remains open in case she needs potentially life-saving treatment in the future not available through the NHS, which could cost hundreds of thousands of pounds.

How you can help

There are many ways you can help Ashlee: by making a personal donation; holding a fundraising event; getting sponsored to take on a challenge; or simply by following and sharing Ashlee's story through herFacebook page.

To donate by text, send "ASHLEE" followed by any whole amount up to £20 to 70085. This will cost your donation plus your standard network charge. It wont matter if you leave a space before the number, if you include a '£' sign or whether you use upper or lower case.

If you'd like help supporting Ashlee's campaign, please get in touch with the fundraising team on 0207 284 0800 andfundraising@solvingkidscancer.org.uk .

Solving Kids' Cancer UK's children's fundraising campaigns

Funds raised will go towards helpingAshleeand her family. IfAshlee no longer needs the funds or is in remission five years post the end of successful treatment, the funds will be used to support other children and families affected by neuroblastoma through our activities. For children with high-risk neuroblastoma, like Ashlee, the survival rate is much lower than other childhood cancers. Upon relapse, this rate reduces even further.

About the charity

Donations are paid into Solving Kids' Cancer’s general funds for our charitable activities. We help families affected by neuroblastoma through the provision of support and information; as well as investing in research and advocating for access to better treatment

Donation summary

Total raised
£43,888.24
+ £2,489.35 Gift Aid
Online donations
£43,888.24
Offline donations
£0.00
Direct donations
£25,253.08
Donations via fundraisers
£18,635.16

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