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Coronavirus: Lockdown 'killing' cancer fund hope for girl

image copyrightEmpics
image captionr tThe family are trying to raise £230,000 to take Nellie-Rose to the US for treatment

The mother of a four-year-old girl with stage four cancer has said lockdown is "killing any hope" of raising funds for potentially life-saving treatment.

Nellie-Rose Culleton has neuroblastoma, a rare type of cancer that only affects about 100 children each year in the UK.

When her treatment ends in May, her family want to take her to New York for a vaccine, which they hope will prevent the cancer returning.

Mum Leighann Lynes said: "I would never forgive myself if I didn't take her."

Nellie-Rose, from Maidstone in Kent, has been having chemotherapy sessions at her local hospital but her family have been warned the cancer could return.

If it does, she may only have a 10% chance of survival.

As a result, they are pinning their hopes on an experimental vaccine at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in Manhattan.

It would cost about £230,000 and they have currently raised just over £35,000.

image copyrightFamily picture
image captionThe family are trying to raise £230,000 to take Nellie-Rose to the US for treatment

Ms Lynes, 28, said: "We have been really lucky with the support but lockdown is killing any hope of us being able to reach this money because we can't fundraise, we can't do bake sales.

"People like to invest in children, they come to meet them and we can't do that, and a lot of people have lost their jobs."

Ms Lynes received her daughter's diagnosis just two days before the nation was plunged into lockdown in March.

Nellie-Rose had struggled to walk but doctors initially thought it was a common condition known as irritable hip.


Ms Lynes described the cancer diagnosis as "one of the lowest moments of my whole life".

"I couldn't believe what was happening to me, it was absolutely devastating."

To make matters worse, because of the pandemic, Nellie-Rose and her mother were confined to their hospital room for a week and her father was initially not allowed to visit.

Eventually, they were allowed home.

Ms Lynes said: "I think because we were in lockdown, I couldn't see my mum, I couldn't see my dad, I almost out of nowhere got this fight feeling.

"I just blocked out everything and I just focused on making sure that Nellie was going to fight this."

Related Topics

  • New York
  • Cancer
  • Maidstone
  • Childhood cancer

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