Race to save Pippa’s life

Brave youngster: Pippa with parents Scott Cole and Michelle Howard and sisters Ruby (back) and Betsy-Blue
Brave youngster: Pippa with parents Scott Cole and Michelle Howard and sisters Ruby (back) and Betsy-Blue
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A heartbroken family is in a race against the clock to raise funds to try to save their daughter’s life after her cancerous brain tumour returned.

Three-year-old Pippa Belle Cole was diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumour called an ependymoma Grade Three when she was just 18 months old.

The brave toddler underwent several operations including a 10-hour brain surgery followed by a gruelling 13 months of intensive chemotherapy.

During this time Pippa lost all her hair, a lot of weight and was very unwell due to the side effects from the chemotherapy which has permanently damaged her hearing and has left her unable to hear high frequency sounds.

However, just three months after being given the all clear, the heartbroken family were told Pippa’s tumour had returned.

Now Pippa’s best chance of survival is to fly to America for life saving treatment.

Mum Michelle Howard, 34 from Garstang, said: “We are completely devastated and heartbroken for Pippa, she was feeling well again, regained her appetite and was starting to enjoy being a normal three-year-old.

“Without this treatment Pippa will not survive, because of the position of the tumour normal radiotherapy would cause considerable damage to Pippa’s brain.

“As a family we are going to fight this again, with all our strength and we will yet again beat this horrendous disease.”

Pippa underwent further brain surgery on Monday and her tumour was successfully removed and in just five weeks time, she will fly to America to receive Proton Beam Therapy.

However, while the treatment is funded by the NHS, the family is appealing to the public to help raise £10,000 as they will need to fund everything else for the trip and will be in America for nine to 12 weeks.

Family and friends have organised a fund-raiser for Pippa which will be held at Preesall Indoor Archery and Air Rifle Centre on Little Tongues Lane on February 7.

There will be a raffle with vouchers donated from local businesses, archery and air rifle competitions and other games.

Food will also be available to buy and a bouncy castle for younger children will be on site, weather permitting.

The family have also set up a go fund me page for Pippa which has already reached £3,500 in just one day.

Michelle added: “Pippa is having to fight extremely hard for her life but she amazes us with her bravery and strength, she always has a smile on her face.

“Trust me she is an inspiration to anyone who meets her.”

To donate to Pippa’s cause go to www.gofundme.com/ktmvf0, you can also donate raffle prizes by contacting debzmagee@hotmail.co.uk or Preesall Indoor Archery and Air Riffle Centre on facebook or visit the 
centre’s website www.piaarc.co.uk