A three-year-old with an incurable brain tumour has finished her radiation treatment, but her family still faces the prospect of losing their little girl.
The Potts family was thrown into disarray at the end of last year, when Annabelle was diagnosed with Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG) on December 30.
The family was hopeful renowned neurosurgeon Dr Charlie Teo could operate on Annabelle, but was told the tumour was in a too risky position to operate on.
The family has received overwhelming support from the community, with a crowd funding page raising nearly $100,000 to help the Potts pay for young Annabelle’s treatment.
Annabelle received her last of her radiotherapy treatment last week after having them daily for the past six weeks.
This is not the end of the fight for the three-year-old, it is only a step to buy her more time in the hope that a cure can be found.
DIPG is a highly aggressive brain tumor and the family was given the devastating news that Annabelle had only one to three months to live without treatment.
Annabelle’s father Adam Potts said the Sydney Children’s Hospital and Ronald McDonald House have been wonderful.
“They have done everything they can to make sure that Annabelle has everything she needs and is as comfortable as possible,” Mr Potts said.
Harden woman Natasha Batinich, a friend of Annabelle’s grandmother Jody Webster, was able to put the family in contact with Dr Teo.
The family’s hope now rests in finding a clinical trial that will be suitable for Annabelle, and are looking to the Kid’s Cancer Centre, which has provided care to children and adolescents with cancer and blood diseases for more than 50 years.
Adam and his wife, Kathie, have been in contact with Dr Zieglar from UNSW and received this response:
“Focusing on the clinical trials at the Sydney Children’s Hospital, we really would like to see the state or federal government supporting this, rather than relying on charitable donations,” Dr Ziegler wrote.
“In many other states (eg Victoria and Queensland), this is largely funded by the state government. In NSW, we receive a small amount of funding from the Cancer Institute NSW, but only enough to fund approximately 1.5 trials out of the total requirement of 10 to 12.”
The Potts are writing to the NSW Minister for Health and Medical Research, Brad Hazzard, to appeal for government funding to find a cure.