Chloe’s cancer relapsed in early January 2015, shortly before she was due to travel to America to take part in a drug trial. There is no set treatment path for relapsed neuroblastoma, but there are options for Chloe both in the UK and abroad.
Chloe’s family and friends are continuing to fundraise to make sure that all options are open to her. Read Chloe’s full story below:
Chloe had always been a bubbly healthy little girl, she was never ill. At 18 months her parents, Karen and Richard, took her to the doctor after she complained that her tummy hurt. On referral to a dietitian, the advice was to stop giving Chloe cow’s milk and leave her on formula milk. Chloe seemed fine.
8 months later, Chloe’s parents noticed that their daughter’s appetite had reduced and she had become very lethargic, sweaty and pale, with her tummy becoming very bloated. She was having difficulty walking and her parents became seriously concerned.
Visits to the GP and local A&E resulted in Chloe undergoing a range of tests. On the 25 October an ultrasound was performed. Karen said that “within an hour our world was turned upside down. We were given the devastating news that our precious daughter Chloe had a tumour in her tummy believed to be a form of childhood cancer called neuroblastoma.” Having never heard the word, Karen and Richard were in complete shock but things moved at breakneck speed.
Just 3 days later the family were transferred to Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital for further tests. Karen openly explains: “We were told she had advanced stage 4 high risk metastatic neuroblastoma, meaning the tumours had spread throughout her body. She had a large tumour in her abdomen and the cancer was in her bone marrow throughout her skeleton”
Like more than half of children diagnosed with neuroblastoma,the cancer was already at an advanced stage by the time it was discovered. “It felt as if we were going to lose her at any minute,” they said.
The family was determined not to lose hope and treatment was started whist Karen and Richard tried to keep Chloe unaware of their mounting fears. Chloe has spent nearly 7 months in hospital – enduring countless tests with chemotherapy surgery, stem cell harvesting, high dose chemotherapy,radiotherapy surgery and immunotherapy. “Chloe brings light and laughter even during the most difficult days.” says Karen.
Karen and Richard had identified an American drug trial which aimed to prevent neuroblastoma coming back after immunotherapy. In a whirlwind 6 week campaign, Chloe’s Appeal raised more than the £100,000 required to pay for this experimental treatment, which was scheduled to begin in early 2015.
Cruelly, Chloe’s final tests before travelling to the US showed that the cancer had returned. However Chloe's bone marrow biopsy result showed that neuroblastoma was not in her bones, an indication that the relapse hadbeen caught early.
This meant that Chloe could not go to Michigan for the foreseeable future.
Chloe’s specialist treatment team at Great Ormond Street Hospital are now determining the best ways to push Chloe’s cancer back into remission.
In the meantime Chloe is feeling quite well, her sense of humourbrightening even her parents’ darkest days.
Richard and Karen have this message for Chloe’s supporters:
“Please do not feel that your efforts for Chloe have been in vain. We remain positive that this has been caught early and we can treat it.If anything, you all have given us hope that although more expensive treatment may be required it will be attainable and that we have an amazing group of followers that will help spread the word.”
All fundraising and donations are hugely appreciated and will mean the world to Chloe if there is a treatment option available abroad if needed, in the near future.
To read more about Chloe visit our website: http://www.SolvingKidsCancer.org.uk/journey/chloes-journey/
To follow Chloe's story visit her Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/ChloeBalloqui
Journey Terms and Conditions
All donations are paid into Solving Kids' Cancer’s general funds to further its general charitable purposes. The funds raised by this Journey are not restricted for the child’s use. However, the trustees of Solving Kids' Cancer have agreed to designate 93% of funds raised by this Journey to help the child and their family pay for potential future treatment costs and all other associated costs including travel and accommodation. We will use the remaining 7% to pay for some of Solving Kids' Cancer's administrative and fundraising costs. If the child no longer needs the funds, or if the trustees decide, at their absolute discretion, that the funds should be used for a different purpose, they may redesignate all or part of the 93% for Solving Kids' Cancer's general charitable purposes. We are very grateful for your charitable donation.
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