Katie Rose is a fun-loving, quick-witted, brave little eight-year-old girl, who loves making slime, playing Minecraft on her Xbox and football with her sister Olivia. She’s the youngest of three girls, Olivia is 11 and big sister Grace is 16.
Katie Rose was diagnosed with stage four high-risk neuroblastoma in March 2018. She had developed a solid tumour in her abdomen.
Her future is uncertain. Her family hope Katie Rose will be in remission at the end of frontline treatment – her immunotherapy is due to finish in October 2019 – so that she can access a clinical trial in New York to try and keep her cancer from coming back.
If Katie Rose were to relapse, her chances of long-term survival would drop to less than 10%.
It means that Katie Rose’s family are appealing for your help to raise £245,000 by September 2019. Mum, Una, says: “We believe this is our best chance at having Katie Rose remain cancer free.”
Katie Rose’s story
In December 2017, Katie Rose began to feel unwell with a temperature and rash. Initially, her GP thought it was scarlet fever. Soon after she had a poor appetite, weight loss, lethargy, was pale and had begun to develop an ongoing limp in her left leg.
Due to her ongoing symptoms, the doctor requested an ultrasound of her left hip as well as her abdomen. Katie Rose then developed yellow bruising around her right eye.
“I just had a gut feeling something was not right,” says Una. “I had asked the doctor if anything more ‘sinister ‘ was going on but was told her symptoms were reactive of severe infection as expected.”
But her abdomen ultrasound and physical examination revealed a possible 7cm solid mass and an MRI later showed a tumour in her abdomen. Katie Rose was then diagnosed as having stage four high-risk neuroblastoma with metastasis, a highly aggressive form of the childhood cancer.
“We will never forget the initial feelings of shock and disbelief that this was happening to our little girl who had already so much to deal with having been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at five-years-old,” says Una.
“It has been complete devastation for our whole family, our lives changed forever that day,” says dad, Kevin.
One week after her diagnosis, On 29th March, Katie Rose began her treatment plan. She completed eight induction rounds of chemotherapy and had to have a further two rounds of TVD chemotherapy as scans showed she had partial clearance.
Katie Rose had her stem cells harvested over three days from 25th September, then one week later she had surgery to remove the tumour from her abdomen. Four weeks later she had her high-dose chemotherapy/stem cell transplant, during which she experienced horrible mucositis – a very painful side effect.
When she recovered on 31st January, she went on to have 24 sessions of radiotherapy to her abdomen and is now currently in the middle of immunotherapy which lasts for six months until September.
“To date, Katie Rose has been incredibly brave throughout her treatment. She has shown ongoing resilience and her amazing wee spirit continues to shine through, even though she continues to endure so much gruelling treatment on top of also having type 1 diabetes,” say Una and Kevin.
“We are so appreciative to all the consultants, doctors, nurses and the entire staff who are involved in Katie Rose’s care at the hospital, working so hard to get rid of this horrible disease.”
Katie Rose’s fundraising campaign
Katie Rose’s family hope she will be in remission at the end of frontline treatment, but if high-risk neuroblastoma comes back then the chances of long-term survival drop to less than 10%.
It means that Katie Rose’s family are appealing for your help to raise £245,000 to access the Bivalent Vaccine clinical trial at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York. This treatment aims to keep neuroblastoma from returning.
How you can help
There are many ways you can help Katie Rose: by making a personal donation; holding a fundraising event; getting sponsored to take on a challenge.
Download our free Katie Rose resources (below) to support your fundraising.
To donate by text, send “KATIEROSE” followed by any whole amount up to £20 to 70085. This will cost your donation plus your standard network charge. It won’t matter if you leave a space before the number, if you include a ‘£’ sign or whether you use upper or lower case.
If you’d like help supporting Katie Rose’s campaign, please get in touch with the fundraising team on 0207 284 0800 and firstname.lastname@example.org