Scarlett, the daughter of one of my oldest friends was
diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) in January 2011. I have known Scarlett, who was 6 years old at the time, since birth and it broke my heart to hear the news.
ALL is the most common form of childhood cancer,
affecting somewhere in the region of 500 children in the UK each year. Typical treatment lasts an extremely long time – two years for girls and three for boys. Whilst the prognosis is generally good, around 20% of those children initially treated will go on to relapse.
Sadly, this is what has happened to Scarlett. She had
been off treatment for just less than 6 months, when, in September 2013 we were devastated to find out that her cancer had returned.
Relapsed ALL is harder to treat than the initial disease,
and the treatments much harsher. She underwent a grueling second round of treatment. From September 2013 until January 2014, Scarlett stayed at hospital, enduring relentless rounds of chemotherapy, steroids and radiotherapy.
Throughout December, she barely came home at all, just managing Christmas Day at home before having to be rushed back to hospital at 9pm with a treatment related infection.
Scarlett’s treatment is continuing today as she undergoes a clinical trial in San Francisco using her own CAR T cells.…early signs are promising!
Having a child with cancer has a devastating impact, both
for the child and their family. Scarlett, now 11 years old, has already been having daily cancer treatment for almost half of her life.
I know that you receive many requests for donations and have already been very generous in supporting this cause – but this is a particularly terrible long lasting disease which impacts our most vulnerable....so, I implore you to again help me raise as much money as possible again by giving whatever you can.
We are aiming high with our fundraising as each clinical
trial like Scarlett’s is >$100k…..but through your generosity we have already made a difference and can really help reach a day when no other family has to go through the pain of having their child diagnosed with leukemia.