A young girl battling an aggressive cancer is ‘living in limbo and on hope’ as she faces a dramatic race against the clock to raise funds for potentially life saving treatment.
Read previous stories on Jorgie's illness: /bradley-fund-to-help-little-jorgie-1-8724906 and /clay-pigeon-shoot-raises-8-000-for-jorgie-rae-griffiths-1-8917787
The family of three-year-old Jorgie Rae Griffiths was initially told they would have until the summer to raise more than £200,000 for specialist therapy in America, but now they have been informed in order to boost the chances of it being successful, she would need to start by early March.
Her parents, Lauren McCabe and Barry Griffiths are hoping to fly out on Wednesday, but face an uncertainty over whether the £40,000 they currently have is enough to meet starting costs.
Each treatment costs approximately £10,000 and Jorgie will require at least 20 treatments, taking the total to more than £200,000.
Lauren, 29, of Wesham, said: “We originally thought we would be able to go the America in the summer but due to lack of communication we were only told recently we had a 60-day period from the beginning of January to early March to start.
“We are hoping to fly out on Wednesday and our first consultation is a day later.
“We have £30,000 in our bank account and a further £10,000 on Just Giving, so we now have a big push to raise as much as we can. The pressure has never been as big as it is now.
“We need around £200,000 to cover the cost of treatment, flights, accommodation and special insurance because Jorgie has a diagnosed condition.
“At the moment, we are not sure the money we have will cover the cost of the entire treatment. We are waiting for the consultation for a breakdown of finances.
“We have paid for the flights out of the money we have. If we get confirmation from America before we go about how much we need and we don’t have it, we may not even go.
“But sitting and doing nothing is not an option. Would she relapse in a few months time if we don’t go and try? We need to go there at least and have the first consultation.
“We are living in limbo and living on hope.
“I am terrified as we have got to the point where we are racing for her life.
“We are all scared and nervous that we won’t be able to meet the time frame. Just raising that huge amount of money was a big task but now we are governed by a time frame.
“We feel we are putting a price on her life.”
Jorgie Rae was diagnosed with neuroblastoma in April 2016 after her parents spotted a small lump on the side of her nose. Further scans and tests revealed that she had tumours in both her head and chest. Since then she has been having therapy treatment, which she has now completed, at Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital. The treatment in America will help prevent any relapses, it is hoped.
Lauren said: “Jorgie is doing quite well at the moment. She is classed as in remission but she still has a Hickman line fitted and she has picked up an infection which could jeopardise her even further.
“The reality of neuroblastoma is that it has a high occurrence rate and we risk her relapsing.”
Since Jorgie’s family began fund-raising last summer, the community has rallied round, organising events to boost the total.
Lauren added: “I am grateful beyond belief. I cannot express my gratitude enough. I am so glad we started raising funds when we did. At one point we were told we only needed to raise funds at the start of her treatment, but we as a family decided to start the ball rolling sooner. If we had not, we would have been snookered.
“We are waiting to hear if we can get any help from the Bradley Lowery Foundation.”
Can you help Jorgie raise more money for her urgent treatment?
To donate visit the Just Giving website set up by family friend Diane Ireland: http://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/diane-ireland-5
Hair by Claire Ashton, in Lytham Road, Freckleton, is holding a raffle this week and is having an open day on March 4, where the cost of all treatments will be donated to the fund.