A mum who has lost four babies is desperate for the public to help save her only child’s life.
Esme was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia while on holiday with her parents in Greece. Now she needs an urgent stem cell transplant to save her life.
The two-year-old’s family have already raised an incredible amount of money, in a matter of weeks, but need to raise a staggering half a million pounds to fund the treatment.
Unfortunately, Esme is not eligible for a second transplant on the NHS and time is running out. Esme’s mum, Rebecca tragically suffered four miscarriages and three operations to bring her much-wanted daughter into the world, nearly losing her life in the process. The difficult process makes the fear of losing her all the more painful.
The 38-year-old said: “Looking at our daughter she is at her fittest, bubbliest and happiest in months, none of this makes any sense but equally for me. It’s the demon that’s come to me in sleepless nights since diagnosis and is now a reality.”
Esme, from West Norwood in South London, was diagnosed with high risk acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) in June last year aged 22 months while on holiday in Greece. She was diagnosed after her parents became concerned with some bruising on her body which didn’t seem to heal.
On her return to the UK she spent five months as an in-patient at the Royal Marsden and in September 2018 received a stem cell transplant, after three rounds of intense chemotherapy.
Sadly, after six months of strong recovery, this month the family were given the devasting news that the leukaemia had returned.
After seeking the advice of several leading, global consultants that specialise in high risk AML, Rebecca and her husband Will, 43, have now been told that Esme’s best chance of cure is a second stem cell transplant, as soon as possible.
Unfortunately, the couple has recently learnt that this treatment will definitely not be available on the NHS because the standard policy is not to offer second transplants to patients who relapse within 12 months. Due to the aggressive nature of her disease, Esme simply does not have that long so they need to raise £500,000 for a private transplant in weeks.
Esme’s dad said: “Having been told that a second transplant would be the fallback option for a failed first cord transplant, we have now learnt that the Marsden, to whom we have inexpressible gratitude for their expertise and care, are sadly blocked from supporting a second transplant until 12 months from the first due to NHS England policy.
“Whilst we understand this policy from our extensive conversations with AML experts in the US, we know that for Esme the best course of action is try to get to a second transplant as soon as possible, rather than bide our time for seven months with maintenance chemotherapy to try and keep the disease at bay.
“In the US and other private centres, second transplants are offered within one year but unfortunately that is not the case here in the UK. For her second transplant the plan would be to use an adult (rather than original umbilical cord) donor and manipulate more ‘graft versus host effect’ to eradicate the leukaemia – so there is every hope for a permanent cure.”
You can donate to Esme’s cause here.