The family of a Louth girl who beat brain cancer over a year ago have been dealt a devastating blow after the disease returned - and they are now hoping to raise £150,000 to access specialist treatment in the USA that they hope will save her life.
Demi Knight was an apparently healthy, happy nine-year-old girl when she was diagnosed with a Classic Medulloblastoma brain tumour in December 2015.
Demi is the most kind, gentle and considerate girl I’ve ever known and - for what she’s been through both physically and emotionally - the strongest.Mum, Mel Knight
She had a full surgical removal of the tumour, followed by radiotherapy and chemotherapy which finished in February 2017.
Demi, now 11, was having clear scans every three months up until her most recent MRI scan earlier this month which showed that the tumour had returned in her spine and head.
Sadly, as the standard treatment has failed, the only treatment that can be offered to Demi in the UK is ‘Phase 1 and Phase 2 trials’ with more chemotherapy.
Demi’s mum, Mel, said that this treatment option ‘does not sound hopeful at all’ - and she has decided to pursue other avenues to help save her daughter’s life.
Mel said: “We have frantically been trying to find where promising treatment is available and have found the Burzynski Clinic in Houston, Texas, to offer us the best hope through using Antineoplaston Therapy. However, this will come at a cost that on our own is impossible to pay for.
“I’ve spoken to parents who have children who were treated at this very clinic after being told their child’s brain cancer was terminal and all hope was lost, this was back in 2008 and this child’s tumour is now resolved!”
Mum-of-three Mel is now trying to raise £150,000 to cover the initial £30,000 costs, plus the cost of treatment, flights and accommodation.
Any money left over will be used to support other families who find themselves in similar heartbreaking circumstances in the future.
Mel said: “We are desperate for funding and prepared to go to whatever lengths we need to in order to save our Demi. I will never give up on my daughter.
“She will not be taken from me, and so I’m asking everyone of you for your help and support for this treatment that offers hope for Demi.
“Every little helps and I thank you in advance for your support in helping us to get to where we need to be.
Mel added: “Everyone who knows Demi loves her to bits.
“She is the most kind, gentle and considerate girl I’ve ever known and - for what she’s been through both physically and emotionally - the strongest.
“No matter what, she always manages to smile and laugh and she has a big impact on everyone around her and everyone she meets.”
• To make a donation towards Demi’s life-saving treatment, visit www.gofundme.com/Demi-knight-cancer-treatment-fund.