By her mum Gemma…
Our beautiful daughter Audrina is just 5 years old and in July 2018 we found out the devastating news that she has cancer. Audrina was diagnosed with high risk Neuroblastoma, a rare childhood cancer with one of the lowest survival rates. When myself and Zach found out our world literally fell apart and we have been battling ever since to do everything we can to get Audrina the lifesaving treatment she needs.
So far our little girl has spent her last 2 birthdays in hospital, endured multiple surgical procedures and numerous rounds of Chemotherapy. In December 2018 she had surgery to remove her tumour and at the start of 2019 she had what we thought then was her most gruelling treatment yet, suffering through high dose chemotherapy and a stem cell transplant. The stem cell transplant was absolutely heartbreaking as we watched our baby girl go through some horrific symptoms. Audrina had to resort to sign language due to an unbearably painful mouth and we held her as she vomited blood and experienced hallucinations from the high level of morphine required to ease her pain. I will never forget those weeks or the bravery Audrina showed.
More to come has been radiotherapy, cis retinoic acid and immunotherapy. The immunotherapy has been the worst. Audrina had a severe adverse reaction to it that was so bad I could have lost her. She stopped breathing on a number of occasions and required oxygen. We were in hospital for 7 weeks and the only reason Audrina recovered was because she was able to have a rare blood product called immunoglobulin to reverse the effects of the immunotherapy. After this we stopped any further rounds of immunotherapy.
After all this intense treatment you would think she had been through enough but devastatingly children with high risk neuroblastoma have a very high risk of relapse. There is a 50% chance that Audrina’s cancer will still return and if relapse occurs, there is only a 10% chance of survival. There are no words for that kind of outlook. There is nothing available on the NHS to prevent relapse.
Since December 2018, we have been fundraising to help Audrina access medical treatment in America, not currently available on the NHS which would help prevent the likelihood of relapse now her treatment has ended. However her horrendous reaction to the immunotherapy drugs have forced me to reconsider Audrinas options and I have had to make the tough decision not to pursue the original plan of further treatment in the US.
Now that prevention assisting drugs in America are no longer an option, this means Audrinas risk of relapse has increased even more and I have a worrying 5 years ahead (most likely time for relapse). Audrina still desperately needs help raising money to help deal with medical treatment in Barcelona should the worst occur.
Donations past and present will be placed in a trust for those 5 years. If after 5 years Audrina has not relapsed I plan to donate the money to neuroblastoma research or to another child with neuroblastoma that requires treatment not available on the NHS.
I am still hopeful there may be other trials available to Audrina. I will be attending the neuroblastoma conference in November and am hoping and praying something may come up there.
The world needs kids like Audrina to keep hope and happiness alive. Together we can continue to raise money for Audrina. Please. Help make that happen. Help my little girl survive this. Help give Audrina the chance to grow up.