A young girl who is battling an aggressive form of cancer is preparing to fly out to America for the second time in June.
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Three-year-old Jorgie Rae Griffiths, of Wesham, will return to Michigan on June 13 for a treatment known as difluoromethylornithine (DFMO) which could potentially give her an extra percentage on her life.
Her family reveals Jorgie is doing well and enjoyed a day with her favourite PNE players, including John Welsh, who presented her with a cheque for £2,500 following an auction of matchworn shirts.
Carole McCabe, Jorgie’s grandma, said: ”John is a really lovely guy and that really comes across by how he is with Jorgie.
“Jorgie is well at the moment and we thank god every day for that. We are even hoping to get her into playschool for a day or two a week. Her treatment in America will continue for at least the next two years and possibly beyond.
“We just don’t know how things will work out in the future.
“Everyday we try to remain positive as Jorgie fights everyday to stay well. The money raised so far is more than £40,000 and this will help massively with the treatment in America.
“There are additional costs for flights, accommodation and food and any additional treatment that Jorgie may need whilst in America.
“She will go to Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital (RMCH) to have scans and tests prior to flying out. RMCH will continue to monitor Jorgie going forward every month to make sure that everything is at is at the moment.”
The midfielder recently spoken about the special bond he formed with Jorgie after she became a mascot for the Lilywhites game against Wolverhampton Wanderers.
He told Preston North End club podcast: “I first met Jorgie in the dressing room and she was telling me about her hat and getting a bike off her mum. She is a really special girl.
“It was a really special moment for me to meet someone like that, who has an impact on you.”
Welsh went to meet her once again at home after their initial meeting and he described just how much of an impact she had on him.
He said: “I went down to meet her and the family before she set off for America in February. She was just the nicest little girl you could ever meet.
“Sometimes when you meet kids, they need to be told who you are and what you do but as soon as the door opened, she was like ‘John! Come in and see this!’ It was brilliant and put a big smile on my face.
“The whole situation really touched me, meeting her and how positive, loving and funny she was. That’s probably the reason why I want to get more involved and meet the family and do as much as possible to help them and make sure she gets the treatment she needs.
“The club have done so much for the family and they have expressed their thanks to the football club for what they are doing.
“If anyone sees anything that can help the family, I urge you just to help because she is a lovely little girl and they’re such a nice family.
“With what they are going through, you wouldn’t believe how positive they are as people. It something that really warms your heart.”
Jorgie, who was diagnosed with neuroblastoma in April 2016, needs to raise around £170,000 for her treatment and associated costs.
To support her donate to http://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/diane-ireland-5