Updated: Government to pay for little Leah's treatment
Strong support from timesofmalta.com readers
The parents of Leah Xuereb, a three-year old girl suffering from a very rare stomach cancer, have just been informed by the Health Ministry that their application for government sponsorship of €245,000 has been approved and all the treatment cost will be covered.
The life-saving treatment has to take place in a hospital in Texas, the US which is the only hospital in the world where children with disseminated abdominal cancers can be treated.
Last week, London's Great Ormond Street hospital, where Leah was receiving treatment, informed the Xuereb family that Dr Andrea Hayes-Jordan at the Houston Hospital is considered as the only option for children with similar diseases.
"This type of surgery is not performed in children anywhere else in the world," said Dr Olga Slater, consultant paediatric oncologist at Great Ormond.
Leah will be flown out as soon as possible as she needs to undergo treatment urgently before her cancer starts spreading even further and she is too ill to take in the treatment.
Until yesterday, Leah's life was hanging in the balance while her parents launched a campaign set out to achieve "the impossible" €245,000 in a week, through KidsnCancer.org.uk.
The story on timesofmalta.com went viral on the social media and donations started pouring in. In a matter of a few hours, the amount collected shot up from £9,000 to nearly £60,000.
The family told The Times that the money raised for kidsncancer will be used for the flights and accommodation for Leah. Kidsncancer will keep the money until Leah is declared in remission, any remaining money from this campaign will be distributed to children facing the same challenges. The charity will manage all funds.