A heavily pregnant Leeds mum, whose daughter is in need of potentially lifesaving American hospital treatment, has launched a plea for support.
Stephanie Adams, from Gildersome, and her husband Tony are still coming to terms with their two-year-old daughter Myla’s cancer diagnosis, but now face a financial dilemma.
Up until late June Myla seemed well. She developed a lazy right eye which began swelling and doctors prescribed antibiotics, before scans revealed she had a tumour pushing on her optic nerve and attached to one of the muscles that helps to move the eye.
She quickly started chemotherapy but conventional radiotherapy could cause brain damage or risk her vision, leading NHS England to agree to fund eight weeks of proton beam radiotherapy for her in Florida which has fewer side effects. Flights and hotels will also be paid for but the urgent need for treatment means they are due to leave in early September.
With Stephanie due to give birth to her second child in November, the family is facing the added cost of her giving birth abroad, estimated to be up to $15,000, on top of mortgage and bill payments back at home if they are all to stay together.
The former dental nurse, 26, told the YEP: “While we are out in America, everything carries on without us and we can’t afford for Tony not to be at work but obviously we need to take her to America. It’s just a really, really difficult situation.
“It is one of the most difficult things we have ever faced and I don’t want our family to be apart. I don’t want to be away from my daughter while she is going through this.
“It’s been a whirlwind couple of months, it’s all happened so quick. We didn’t have the chance to get our heads around it, it’s just been bombshell after bombshell.”
Having only learned of their imminent departure to the USA in recent days, the Adams’ launched an online crowdfunding campaign in a desperate bid for support this week. More than £5,000 has been raised to date.
Myla’s shock diagnosis is of a rare form of cancer called rhabdomyosarcoma, which stems for her development as a baby. It affects less than 60 people in the UK every year and is more common in boys than girls.
The youngster will undergo chemotherapy for the next six to eight months on the cancer, which doctors say they can’t operate on without risking her sight. Tests have showed the tumour has not spread anywhere else.
Stephanie added: “It’s difficult to try to communicate to a two-and-a-half-year-old that we’re having to make her very ill to make her better.
“We weren’t expecting this at all. It was an absolute shock. We just thought it was an infection, we didn’t think she could gave could have been ill at all because she’s been so well in herself.”
The family has set up a Facebook group telling her story and hope to raise more funds at a specially organised family fun day at Moorlands Cricket Club, in Mirfield, on August 23.
Visit facebook.com/mylasjourney for information or donate at crowdfunding.justgiving.com/mylasjourney.