St Albans stall to help fundraise for five-year-old needing £300,000 for experimental cancer treatment

PUBLISHED: 22:07 29 June 2018 | UPDATED: 22:07 29 June 2018

Georgia Paul

Georgia Paul

Archant

A five-year-old fighting back against a cancer diagnosis needs £300,000 for experimental treatment.

Georgia PaulGeorgia Paul

Just over two months ago Georgia Paul had no symptoms and no idea an aggressive, rare tumour had wrapped itself around her brain stem.

The first indication Georgia’s parents, Ruth and Gary Paul, had that anything was wrong was a phone call from her school, saying she had fallen over and needed to be taken home.

Just days later Georgia had been diagnosed with a diffuse intrinsic pontine gliomas (DIPG) - an inoperable brain tumour with low survival rate.

Georgia now struggles to walk or see and has had to suffer four MRIs, a brain biopsy and six weeks of radiotherapy.

Georgia PaulGeorgia Paul

However, an experimental treatment could offer hope to Georgia and her parents.

A Convection Enhanced Delivery (CED) system is designed to break the blood brain barrier and allow chemotherapy drug transfusions to be more effective.

However, the CED system costs £60,000 and each transfusion after that £20,000, delivered in Europe.

Overall, the family are facing a bill of about £300,000.

Left to right: Niamh Bates, Eva Bates, Grace Bilantz, Hannah Crowther and Max Bilantz. picture: Hayley BilantzLeft to right: Niamh Bates, Eva Bates, Grace Bilantz, Hannah Crowther and Max Bilantz. picture: Hayley Bilantz

Madeleine Bates, who is Ruth’s cousin and lives in St Albans, said: “It’s completely devastating and it is something you hear about, awful stories of this happening, but usually there is some hope or prognosis. This has happened so fast - it went from a scan to inoperable in days.

“The hopelessness is horrendous. There is something so unjust about a child because it is against the natural order of things.”

She said the news felt like she had been hit by a train.

“It sounds ridiculous because cancer doesn’t choose people but this kid is a complete force of nature, she is hilarious, she is a ball of energy, she is just lovely.

“Her parents will not let her be used as a lab rat but they are not prepared to take her home and let her die. They want to give it their best shot.”

Within 48 hours of fund-raising online, ten per cent of the goal had been reached.

Ruth said: “I’ll be honest, having a very sick child can bring out some very raw emotions. Dark feelings. Why us? Why Georgia? It’s so bloody unfair. I really, really would not wish this on anyone, but sometimes it all feels too unjust.

“But then you see a community, both near and far, rally so strongly and with such passion, within a mere 48 hours, and it honestly and truly restores your faith in the world.

“In a horrible situation, there are so many incredible people out there, I feel very lucky to have all these amazing people in my life.”

Madeline’s children and their friends are organising a toys, books and sweets sale for the cause. It is currently scheduled for July 1 between 12pm and 3pm - but lacks a location.

Anyone who could accommodate the stall should contact madeleinebates@icloud.com

To read more about Georgia’s story, visit Ruth’s blog at georgia-on-my-mind.blog/about/

To donate visit www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/teamgeorgia

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