A Chester family are pleading for the public’s help to save the life of their little girl as she faces yet another battle with leukaemia.
The parents of five-year-old Erin Cross thought they had already been through the worst after their beloved daughter finally completed three years of gruelling treatment for the acute lymphoblastic leukaemia she was first diagnosed with at the age of two back in 2012.
And in April 2015 when Erin, from Upton , finally finished her last course of chemotherapy, nobody was more thrilled and relieved than her mum and dad Sarah and Antony, who threw themselves into fundraising for Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, where Erin had received much of her treatment, and took pride in watching Erin start school, make friends and go from strength to strength.
But as fate would have it, just three months ago, Sarah and Antony were given the devastating news that Erin had relapsed - and despite there being just a 3% chance of this happening, a staggering 95% of her bone marrow contained leukaemia cells.
Since then, Erin has undergone two months of extremely intensive treatment at Alder Hey, which has made her ill, and her parents have been told that chemotherapy alone would not be enough to cure her - her only chance of beating it is a bone marrow transplant.
But Sarah told The Chronicle even this will not be possible until Erin is in remission, and she sadly isn’t there yet.
“We hoped and prayed that Erin would just need chemotherapy to beat the disease this time but the only way is a bone marrow transplant,” she said. “Until she is in remission we face the possibility of Erin being placed on new trials to try to get her there, and prepare her for transplant.
“One of these trials would be Car T Cell therapy but access to these trials is extremely limited; there is only one centre in the UK running a trial at the moment which recruits just one child per month nationwide.
“We feel we cannot wait to see if Erin will or will not have access to this trial so that’s why we’ve started started a campaign to raise funds for treatment abroad. There are three centres in America that run paediatric Car T Cell trials, so we are raising funds to increase the chances of Erin having access to this treatment if and when she needs it,” she added.
Support for Erin has gone through the roof, and a team of people from the Chester community have rallied around to raise the £100,000 target that would fund the treatment in America, under the name Team Erin Cross.
An incredible £6,000 has been raised already through social media and there are many more fundraising events in the pipeline.
“We would need to raise around £100,000 for the treatment - this will give Erin access to Car T Cell trials in America when we get to the point where she needs the treatment,” said Sarah.
“We have been told that we will probably need to raise these funds in just eight weeks, it’s a huge amount to raise in such a short time.
“At the moment we are in such a daze at how this has happened. Erin’s beautiful smile got us through some very difficult days and she has been an inspiration to everyone she met. We want to give her this chance and are so grateful to everyone who has supported us in raising this money so far.”
If you can help Erin, donate here