A toddler currently undergoing chemotherapy and suffering from a life-threatening illness is taking part in her first charity fundraiser.
Little Felicity Dawe from Chester, who is currently undergoing chemotherapy of trial drug MEK inhibitor and is one of the youngest children in the world to be offered the trial treatment, will compete in a fun run to raise vital funds for Alder Hey Children’s Hospital and the Children’s Tumour Foundation (CTF).
The two-year-old is battling Neurofibromatosis type one (NF1) which she was diagnosed with at just three-months-old after a tumour was found in her neck severely compressing the top of her spinal cord.
But despite suffering from the cruel illness, Felicity will be in her very own pushchair to raise funds for the charities and will also walk part of the five kilometre route in the popular Southport Parkrun in August in Merseyside.
Mum Maria and dad Greg Dawe will also compete in the run alongside several other family members as well as Felicity’s four-year-old sister, Emmeline.
NF1 affects one in 3,000 people in the world which sees tumours grow along nerves anywhere in or on the body. With support from CTF, Felicity has been offered the trial treatment of chemotherapy drug MEK inhibitor through Great Ormond Street Hospital.
Felicity’s mum Maria said: “We’re so grateful to CTF for giving Felicity the chance to trial the MEK inhibitors which give hope to children with inoperable NF tumours and we want to show our gratitude by raising funds to enable the vital research to continue.”
Felicity will likely take a daily dose of the chemotherapy drug for two years with the hope it will halt or even reverse the growth of the tumour.
Dad Greg added: “If these tumours occur in critical areas of the body, such as in Felicity’s case, the outlook for most is devastating because there is no effective licensed treatment and surgery is often not an option or at high risk of severe nerve damage.
“So far the trialled MEK inhibitors have shown great success shrinking tumours by up to 50%. With continued support we hope this drug will successfully gain licences and be made available to give the same hope that we have for Fliss to many more children and adults.”
Felicity also underwent surgery when she was three-months-old at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital to remove the tumour with the neurosurgical team able to remove most that was compressing the spine, although its structure means she now wears a cervical collar brace to stabilise her neck.
Several months later, MRI results confirmed that the tumour had begun to re-grow and Felicity will face further operations in the future.
Mr Dawe continued: “We’ve chosen these charities because they have already greatly improved the outlook for Felicity’s life and will continue to offer so much hope to our family and other children.”
To donate to these charities and ford more information click here.