A TEENAGE girl battling brain cancer is hoping to receive treatment in America... but her family need to raise at least £300,000.

Lily Whythe, 13, from Eastwood, was diagnosed with an ultra-rare form of brain cancer - brain stem glioma - which affects the central nervous system.


In need of help - Lily


Treatment - Lily was diagnosed at Great Ormond Street Hospital

The tumour on her brain is inoperable due to its location. Lily’s greatest hope to beat the tumour is to take part in a clinical trial for this type of cancer, in a specialist hospital in Seattle.

The ground-breaking trials have seen some remarkable results and work by starving the cancer.

Lily’s mum, Diane Whythe, said: “To have access to the money to take Lily for treatment would mean that we can treat this cancer and live some kind of normal life again.

“It would take away the uncertainty we currently face. I spend hours every night researching treatments and clinical trials.

“Lily has only been to school for eight days this school year. Not only is she missing out on her education but the physical changes she has faced so far have affected her confidence and at times made her withdraw from her friends.”

The 40-year-old added: “Nothing in the world prepares you for this. As parents we feel helpless.

“We have done everything we can to protect her all her life, and the one thing we cannot protect her from is happening inside her own body.”

The bright and bubbly Eastwood Academy student, who also has a brother, Josh, 12, was diagnosed at Great Ormond Street Hospital in October.

After returning from a family holiday in August, Lily started suffering from morning headaches, vomiting and double vision.

Soon after came speech and co-ordination issues. After visiting healthcare professionals on five occasions, Lily finally had an MRI which revealed a tumour on her brain stem.

Lily was immediately admitted to GOSH for five days and put on steroids before the dreaded diagnosis followed a few weeks later.

She has undergone radiotherapy, which has reduced her symptoms, and she has had a life-saving operation to reduce pressure from her brain.

The community has rallied round to help, and so far, more than £14,000 has been raised, but this is a far cry from the cash needed to get Lily to Seattle for the trials, which start next spring 2020.

Dad, Martin, 41, said: “It’s a serious amount of money. Di and I are self-employed and haven’t been able to work while we have focused on caring for Lily during her diagnosis and first stage of treatment.

“We’ve already started to raise money from family, friends and other well-wishers but we desperately need more. We have to get Lily on that treatment programme and, of course, there are significant costs for the family to stay together over there and support her.”

Lily’s cancer has an almost always chance of coming back unless treated with this radical new American therapy.