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Everything was against three-year-old Jorgie Rae Griffiths getting her flight last week, from contending with snow drifts, ill health and uncertainty over funds, but her parents Lauren McCabe and Barry Griffiths were determined to get her to Michigan.
She flew out on Wednesday and following an initial consultation with doctors the next day, she started a drug treatment known as DFMO (difluoromethylornithine), which, when combined with chemotherapy, blocks the growth of neuroblastoma cells. She began her journey back to Wesham on Sunday and is now recovering from a whirlwind week.
Her grandmother, Carole McCabe said: “They got off to America with no problems. We were bothered about the weather and also Barry hadn’t been well either, however everything went smoothly. “I spoke to them at the airport and Jorgie was really excited. Nothing phases her at all. “They had a really good flight and Jorgie was well behaved all the way.“They then had an eight-hour stay in New York before a connecting flight to Grand Rapids in Michigan. “As far as I know everything went great. Jorgie had some tests and more importantly, started the treatment that could potentially save her life.”
Speaking to the Post last week, Lauren was unsure whether they would be able to afford to start the treatment.However, despite not having the full Â£200,000 needed to cover costs, they had enough for the initial consultation and the first round of drugs.
Carole added: “We were able to start the treatment in America as we already had just under Â£30,000 raised from fund-raising which was done with help from family, friends and our wonderful local community. “We now have to find a further Â£170,000 to fund the rest of the treatment, plus flights, accommodation and food. Each child is different so we don’t know how many further trips she will need. We can expect a further three trips this year to America, plus some next year and the year after. But she may need more - we just don’t know.“In between treatment in America, she will have scans at Manchester Children’s Hospital. “The current amount we have in the fund has come from some very generous donations from people all over the country. “I wont give up until I have every penny for Jorgie’s treatment. “I have had lots of people contacting me wanting to do fund-raising to help Jorgie and it is very overwhelming. PNE have also supported us by inviting Jorgie to be a mascot and player John Welsh visited her at home before she went away.“We have had a tough two years since Jorgie was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, but nothing in comparison to what Jorgie has gone through.”
To make a donation visit http://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/diane-ireland-5