A DICKENS Heath family have launched Maddie’s Fighting Fund to raise money to help their daughter battle a rare form of cancer.
Maddie Hems was just eight -years-old when she was diagnosed with Ewings Sarcoma in April of last year.
The St Patrick’s CofE Primary Academy pupil had been suffering from pain down her left arm when doctors discovered an inoperable, fist-sized tumour underneath her collarbone.
Dad Stephen, who works as a butcher, said: “When we got confirmation from the doctor, I think I was in more shock than my partner.
knew exactly what it was, I knew it wasn’t great. Especially when I knew where it was from an anatomical point of view and it did turn out to be totally inoperable.”
Now aged nine, Maddie started a course of chemotherapy in May last year before the NHS funded a three-and-a-half-month trip to America for proton therapy at ProCure cancer treatment centre in Oklahoma.
It wasn’t all smooth sailing as the chemotherapy left the youngster vulnerable to infections, and Maddie lost a third of her body weight during the trip after catching a serious chest and throat infection.
But since arriving back in the UK, the family have had their first bit of positive news; an ‘unchanged’ scan.
“It doesn’t mean we’re in the clear. We’ve got another scan next month and one three months afterwards,” Stephen added.
“You never know where you are from one day to the next.”
Mum Natalie Cardy added: “Unfortunately, Maddie’s type of tumour is highly aggressive and could come back anywhere and at any time. But she takes everything in her flow. She’s a fighter.
“We’re just trying to get through it as a family, to keep her smiling as best we can.
“With this in mind we have set up this fund to help make Maddie’s life a little easier and also support her if further treatment is needed in the UK or the United States, so that it can start immediately.”
Maddie’s Fighting Fund is holding a fundraising car wash on Saturday, October 19 at Solihull Fire Station where, between 12noon-3pm, local firefighters will be on hand to wash your car.
For more information or to donate, email Maddiesfightingfund@gmail.com or follow Maddie’s Fighting Fund on Facebook.