The parents of courageous toddler Anya Bentham are thanking fundraisers for their support as they look to mark the one-year anniversary of their daughter’s diagnosis.
Two-year-old Anya, who now lives in Waverton, Chester, having been born in Connah’s Quay, was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, a rare and aggressive form of childhood cancer, on October 17 last year.
Because Anya was so poorly, her parents Naomi Stanley and Graeme Bentham were forced to cancel their wedding and instead launched a fundraising appeal to find the cash that could save their daughter’s life.
They hoped to raise £250,000 to fund treatment for the cancer – which affects about 100 children a year – as it is not as advanced in the UK as it is in America and Germany.
Now, 12 months on, Anya’s appeal is at £239,500 and her family could not be more grateful to everyone who has shown their support.
Naomi said: “We are inching closer to that target and wanted to take this opportunity to pay thanks to all those that have given up their time to support and fundraise for Anya.
“It is vital that those funds are there to take her abroad should we need to and the kindness of everyone has been a huge boost of morale.
“It is amazing that there are thousands of people behind us wanting to help give Anya the best chance – its very humbling.”
Earlier this summer, tests showed Anya to be clear of the cancer, but doctors warned that the fight was not yet over because the disease has a high return rate.
Should Anya relapse, the money raised by her appeal will be used to fund treatment overseas.
In August, the toddler was offered a rare opportunity to take part in a European-wide trial of immunotherapy – with the added bonus that she could receive the treatment at Alder Hey.
Naomi revealed that Anya will begin the potentially life-saving treatment on November 11.
She added: “Anya is still currently undergoing radiotherapy at Clatterbridge but is due to start her immunotherapy next month.
“The immunotherapy will include a lot of in-patient stays which is going to be gruelling for Anya, especially as we have had such a nice time at home over the past few weeks.
“We will be in hospital for Christmas but we will make it a special time for her regardless of where we are.”