The love of her parents, the fund-raising efforts of friends and help from the family of tragic tot Bradley Lowery are all helping a little girl in her cancer battle.
Two-year-old Jorgie Rae Griffiths is facing a tough task as she battles neuroblastoma, but her mum says the tot’s courage has never wavered.
And it was the keen eye of Jorgie Rae’s mum and dad that may have made all the difference when it came to the initial diagnosis of her rare form of cancer, neuroblastoma.
Two-year-old Jorgie Rae was diagnosed with the rare cancer in April 2016 after her parents Lauren McCabe and Barry Griffiths spotted a small lump on the side of her nose.
Lauren and Barry, from Wesham, were concerned at what it could be, and took Jorgie to their local general practitioner in 2015.
Further scans and tests revealed that little Jorgie Rae had tumours in both her head and chest.
Jorgie’s mum Lauren said: “It has been difficult and the shock factor was really tough. It has been a particularly long 16 months since Jorgie fell ill.”
The 28-year-old added: “It is not something you expect from a baby born fit and healthy – she had no issues with development – but we have come together as a family as a result of it.”
Both Jorgie and her family and not letting the illness get them down, even after Jorgie had to spend five weeks in intensive care over Christmas 2016.
Lauren said: “It has been really tough for Jorgie but she is doing better now.”
Jorgie is currently in cycle five of six of her current therapy treatment at Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital.
Once completed, the aim is to take her to the United States for specialist help to reduce the risk of relapsing.
The family are not alone in their efforts to take Jorgie across the Atlantic, with members of the community joining forces to hold a variety of fund-raising events to help the cancer-stricken tot get the potentially life-saving treatment available.
When Diane Ireland heard about Jorgie needing to raise up to £250,000 for specialist help in America, she began rounding up her friends to offer help.
Julie Hardy, 51, of Kirkham, and Hannah Murray, 22, of Newton, organised a parachute jump in Jorgie’s name at Black Knights Parachute Centre in Cockerham. A team of volunteers also cycled from The Queens Arms, in Kirkham, to Scorton, on Saturday, with the pub hosting a fun day yesterday.
Diane, 53, of Newton, said: “I organised a fun day at the Queens Arms last year for Ronald McDonald House, North West Air Ambulance and Manchester Children’s Hospital as they all supported my six-year-old godson, Coby Davenport, when he was battling leukaemia. He still has two years to do on his treatment but is a lot better than he was.
“Because it went so well - we raised £17,000 - and The Queens Arms staff were so great, I decided to arrange another event, this time raising funds for Jorgie, as well as Ronald McDonald House, where her parents are staying and NWAAS.”
She added: “The first event was a parachute jump by my two friends, Julie and Hannah. They paid extra to jump at 15,000 feet - they must be mad.”
And Diane revealed that her employers at United Utilities have agreed to match funds raised from the events, showing just how far Jorgie’s determination and smile has infected her community.
Mum Lauren is hopefully that further funding can be achieved through The Bradley Lowery Foundation - the charity that got national coverage to help little Bradley Lowery in his fight against neuroblastoma before he passed away in July 2017. Lauren said that the charity have given the family permission to apply for funding assistance.
The last few days have seen Bradley’s mum, Gemma Lowery, announce that the Foundation - which has raised almost £400,000 - is now a registered charity.
Mrs Lowery said: “We’re mega excited to announce that after a lot of behind the scenes work, we’ve got a registered charity number for the Bradley Lowery Foundation.
“We’re hoping to support, advise and encourage families on their fundraising campaigns to reach their target and get their child medical treatment and equipment. We’ll give out some grants, but we’ll also spend time building rapport with families to support them in all kinds of different ways.”