Bid to help Niamh get life-saving treatment

LITTLE Niamh Power urgently needs YOUR help.

Thursday, 2nd February 2012, 9:59 am

The eight-year-old from Maltby has undergone three major operations in a year to remove a fast growing and re-occuring brain tumour.

But now her family have been told there is no further treatment available in the UK to help her.

Family and friends have launched a fundraising campaign to help pay for a trip to America for alternative treatment to help the ‘amazing, clever and bright’ youngster.

Brave Niamh is now back at the family’s Maple Avenue home waiting to hear if she will be accepted on a clinical trial in America.

“We are just living day to day trying to make Niamh laugh and be happy,” said mum Marie, who gave up work as a hairdresser last January to look after her daughter.

“We just have to think positive. It’s too hard to think the worst.”

Dad Simon, 35, said: “We are trying to have a good time as a family and keep Niamh’s spirits up.”

Marie, 40, said her daughter was a happy, budding gymnast before being diagnosed with a brain tumour behind her right eye in December 2010, following a seizure.

She had the tumour removed in January last year and a few weeks later started gruelling radiotherapy and chemotherapy treatment.

A scan revealed a few months later that the tumour had returned, and again Niamh underwent an operation and more chemotherapy.

Another scan in September showed the tumour had gone but following further treatment Niamh had another seizure - almost a year to the day to her first - and doctors found the tumour had returned for a third time.

During her latest operation Niamh, a pupil at St Joseph’s School in Dinnington, suffered a stroke which has left her paralysed down her left side.

She is now back at home with her parents and brother Sebastian, 10, after the family were told there was no further treatment available for her in this country.

“She has nearly a quarter of her brain missing where they have taken her brain away,” said Marie.

“None of the treatment is working. They have said they can’t give her anymore chemotherapy or treatment. We just want somebody to offer her some.”

“We have found hospitals in Tennessee. We are waiting to hear back if they will offer her a clinical trial.”

“She is still a bright and beautiful girl and really clever. She has been amazing.”

“The doctors couldn’t believe she has bounced back. She was up walking around the ward 24 hours after her first operation and we were back home within 12 days.”

Since finding out the devastating news regarding treatment, friends and family of Niamh have begun a fundraising campaign.

At least £50,000 is needed which would cover the cost of the family’s visit to America and help Niamh live as comfortable a life as possible.

Already a website www.hopeforniamh.co.uk and Facebook page has been set up to let people know how they can help and what fundraising events are happening. One friend has already pledged £1,180 to help.

Marie said: “We have been blown away. It is amazing what people are doing for us. It’s amazing how the community have come together to help Niamh.”

A St Partick’s dinner dance and auction is being organised at St Paul’s Hotel in Sheffield on 17th March. Tickets are £50, tables of 10 are available. Call John on 07970 235824 or Brendan on 07798 815695.

Dinnington Rugby Club is also hosting an auction night for Niamh on 4th February. Tickets are £5 and includes pie and peas.

For more information or to make a donation visit www.hopeforniamh.co.uk.