Christmas deadline for Irish family to secure daughter's life-saving cancer treatment

Christmas deadline for Irish family to secure daughter's life-saving cancer treatment

A FAMILY has launched a desperate appeal to raise the remaining funds to get their nine-year-old daughter the vital cancer treatment she needs.

In April 2022 Dubliner Alice Hayes was diagnosed with stage 4 high-risk neuroblastoma, a rare, aggressive and complex cancer of the nerve cells which carries low survival rates.

She started induction chemotherapy the next day, which was “the beginning of what has been, and what will be, a long journey for Alice”, her family explain.

“But she has faced it with amazing strength and bravery.”

Alice Hays, 9, lives in Dublin with her parents and sister Laragh

Neuroblastoma is a rare cancer of the central nervous system, most commonly found in very young children.

Unfortunately, it is also the most life-threatening form of cancer in children - the odds are challenging, and relapse is a huge concern even if the cancer goes into remission and Alice’s case has been described as “particularly challenging”.

Family and friends sought help early, given Alice's high-risk diagnosis, and international neuroblastoma experts from the USA, France, the UK, and Spain have all guided Alice's treatment plan to date.

While Alice has responded well to her frontline treatment at Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, in Crumlin, to give her the best possible chance of avoiding relapse and making a full recovery, she needs to take part in a cutting-edge clinical trial at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Centre in New York.

But her parents Norah and Dylan must raise €550,000 to gain access that trial.

In April 2022 Dublin native Alice Hayes was diagnosed with stage 4 high-risk neuroblastoma

And the pressure is on as, while they have managed to raise more than €450,000 so far, they must reach the full amount before Christmas in order to get Alice onto the next available trial.

Reaching out to the public for support via their fundraising page, the couple describe their daughter as “a bubbly, bright girl, bursting with energy and a real sense of fun”.

“She loves to sing, act and entertain,” they add, “she adores animals, horses, hamsters, Basil her beloved bunny, and Fern her dog.

“She’s also a natural athlete and loves running and swimming.”

Alice attends Carysfort National School in Dublin, Ireland, and “loves going there, especially to play with all her friends”, they add.

Young Alice has faced her diagnosis with 'amazing strength and bravery'

“She has missed her friends so much during treatment,” they explain.

“Alice is a kind and loving little girl, who adores and is adored by all her family and friends, especially her big sister, Laragh.

“She wants to be an ordinary girl again. She wants to be able to play with her friends and participate in all the activities she loves.”

Her parents add: “Participation in this life-saving trial is massively expensive - that is why we, Alice’s family, are undertaking this fundraising.

“This is a huge amount of money, but we are confident that we will help Alice Beat Cancer with your support.”

Donations to the Help Alice Beat Cancer fund can be made here.