The family of a child with an inoperable brain tumour have launched a fundraising mission to pay for pioneering treatment.
Lena Grabowski’s family first noticed something was wrong six months ago when the youngster started experiencing problems with her vision.
Medics initially dismissed the problems and advised Lena’s parents Krzysztof and Judyta to take her to an optician. But on a trip to visit family in Poland their world came crashing down when Lena was finally diagnosed with a 4cm brain tumour.
The rare tumour is located brain near her spine making an operation to remove the mass simply too dangerous.
The youngster, a pupil at Park Primary in Wheatley, is currently undergoing chemotherapy in Poland in a bid to shrink the tumour.
A fundraising mission has been launched back in Doncaster with residents rallying round in a bid to raise £75,000.
Lena’s family hope to raise the money to fund ground breaking proton beam therapy - a highly-targeted type of radiotherapy, which parents and medics believe will give her the best chance of survival.
Since the fundraising page was launched just a few weeks ago £30,534 has already been raised.
Speaking about the shock diagnosis, Lena’s dad Krzysztof, 32, said: “Lena had started to look sideways as if she wanted to see clearer or better.
“She had also complained about headaches and her speech had slowed down.
“We went to a doctors with her but her headaches were ignored and we were redirected to the ophthalmologist to check her eyesight. Her issues with looking sideways were diagnosed as worsening eyesight and nothing else was done about that.”
Lena’s mum Judyta Urban, aged 26, said her bright and bubbly little girl was a bundle of energy before the heartbreaking diagnosis.
She added: “Before Lena was diagnosed she was extremely energetic, with loads of energy, bubbly, smiling and constantly running around. She couldn’t sit in one place even for two minutes.
“Due to the fact that the illness was diagnosed in Poland and we were frightened about her life, we decided to stay in Poland and continue Lena’s treatment over here.
“We are still unsure what other treatment options we have in England and what kind of treatment is available for children with this condition but we are trying to consult with the doctors about the individual therapy that can be given to Lena.
“This obviously requires all the medical documentations which need to be translated to English and send to a different hospital in UK.”
After extensive research Lena’s parents believe the best course of action would be Proton Beam Therapy.
“As parents we are trying to find as much information as possible about any available treatments and so far proton therapy has the best recommendations from the people who went through this therapy and from the doctors who expressed their opinion about this therapy due to limited sides effect.
“There will always be a side effect but these will be minimal compared to a classical radiation or chemotherapy.”
Lena’s aunt Anna Grabowski who is anxiously awaiting updates back in Doncaster said: “The doctors in Poland, in my opinion, don’t want to recommend Lena for a treatment abroad because the treatment is very expensive.
“They have offered Lena classic radiation but that may lead to the situation when Lena will not classify for a proton therapy.
“Both therapies do not give us a 100 per cent guarantee that Lena will get better but the chances of a recovery are much higher for patient that went for proton therapy than for classic radiation.”
In Poland, cases where proton therapy has been fully refunded by the NFZ - the polish NHS - are very rare.
Anna added: “Lena is a lovely girl. She always smile, laugh and brings joy to all of us.
“We are hoping that we will raise money needed for proton therapy and she will be with us for many, many years.”
To donate visit http://www.gofundme.com/dc2xcc8t