A DESPERATE family say costly private treatment in the United States is the only hope to save their 13-year-old daughter, who has been given just months to live.

Diane and Martin Wythe have been overwhelmed at the response to their fundraising appeal to give them as much time as possible with Lily.

They say they are living every parent’s worst nightmare after being told by doctors to “go home and make memories”.

The charity Brain Tumour Research says the family is not alone in its agony and that a drastic increase in funding and access to clinical trials is needed.

Lily, from Eastwood, was diagnosed with a brain tumour in September last year. Following a biopsy at Great Ormond Street Hospital, the tumour was found to be a fast-growing inoperable “diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma” – the deadliest form of childhood cancer with an average survival prognosis of just eight to 12 months from diagnosis.

Lily has undergone radiotherapy at University College Hospital in London which left her having to learn to walk again, but the family have been told there are no further treatment options available to them on the NHS and are facing the fight of their lives as they try to raise hundreds of thousands of pounds to pay for treatment abroad.

Lily’s mum, Diane, 40, said: “It was utterly devastating for Martin and me when we heard the news about our beloved daughter, but we are not prepared to do what the doctors say and wait for the disease to progress.

“We were never told about the possibility of clinical trials or other treatments which could make Lily feel better.

“It is only through painstaking research that we have been able to identify a promising experimental clinical trial being conducted at the Children’s Hospital in Seattle in the US.

“We are overwhelmed by the response of family, friends and the wider community to our GoFundMe appeal which has raised around £70,000 to date.

“We are looking to raise at least £300,000 for the treatment in Seattle which will hopefully begin in March, but we will also need to look at funding flights and accommodation.”

Hugh Adams, of Brain Tumour Research, said: “Our hearts go out to Lily and her family whose world has been shattered by this cruellest of diagnoses.

“Brain tumours kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer yet, historically, just 1 per cent of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to this devastating disease.

“How many more families must go through this? There are clinical trials underway to identify drugs that may help children with this type of brain tumour, but there are no chemotherapy drugs that have been universally proven to show benefit, so each treatment regime is approached on an individual basis.

“It is just not right that treatment for children like Lily is heavily dependent upon access to clinical trials.

“As a charity, we support the ambition for at least 15 per cent of brain tumour patients to be participating in clinical trials by 2025.”

Diane has set up a GoFundMe page and a Facebook group called Lily’s battle with brain cancer, in order to raise money to fund additional medical treatment.