PPRuNe Forums - View Single Post - Vanessa Riddle Appeal - Update - January 2013
Old 28th Jan 2013, 07:37
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Vanessa Riddle Appeal - Update - January 2013

Hi folks,

As you might remember, around a year ago, PPRuNe helped publicise the plight of Vanessa Riddle, a young schoolgirl from Scotland with Stage 4 Neuroblastoma, an aggressive cancer mostly affecting children.

No treatment was available for Vanessa in the UK and her family needed £500,000 to enable her to have treatment outside the UK. With the help of PPRuNe, local press, friends, colleagues, and the family, the £500,000 target was smashed in only 49 days !! The Appeal currently sits at over £900,000.

Treatments in the USA were investigated, as was a new treatment available in Germany. The family eventually decided to opt for the latter and Vanessa commenced a 6-9 month course of antibody treatment late in 2012.

The fantastic news is that so far, it is WORKING and recent scans can find no visble trace on Neuroblastoma in Vanessa Her antibody system has been totally replaced with cells from her mother and she has gone from a T Cell count of 0 at the start of her treatment to a figure of over 50% of normal count and rising !!

Whilst she is not out of the woods yet, and still has several months of antibody replacement to go, the progress has been far in excess of anything the family could have dreamed of.

The reality is that all of you who helped, whether by donating items, giving to the Appeal, offering support or help, or simply spreading the word about this brave little girl have SAVED HER LIFE.

For that, the family cannot THANK YOUenough.

From the Daily Record (Full Article link below)

Vanessa Riddle gets cancer all-clear as dad thanks Daily Record readers who raised cash to help save her

FATHER Chris gave thanks to the readers who raised £500,000 to fund lifesaving treatment for the 12-year-old who a year ago was given only a 10 per cent chance of survival.

SCHOOLGIRL Vanessa Riddle is clear of the cancer that threatened her life, her family revealed yesterday.

The 12-year-old’s dad Chris broke the joyful news – and thanked the Record readers who made it possible.

When we told of Vanessa’s brave fight for survival a year ago, her family were battling to raise £500,000 in three months for life-saving treatment abroad.

No treatment was available for her in the UK.

But our readers took Vanessa to their hearts and helped to raise the cash in just 49 days.

Vanessa had been given less than a 10 per cent chance of survival after the neuroblastoma she had suffered from for four years reappeared.

But now, after a cell transplant from mum Connie and five months of antibody treatment in Tubingen, Germany, she has had the best news possible. She has no trace of the cancer in her body.

Her fund now stands at around £900,000 and money is still coming in.

And while she still has a long way to go, with more antibody treatments to come, she has real hope for the first time.

Last night, dad Chris, from Loans, Ayrshire, paid tribute to Record readers for the
generosity which made it all possible.

He said: “If it wasn’t for people raising the money, we wouldn’t have been able to access this treatment.

“Your relentless fundraising and fantastic donations have made all this possible.

“Vanessa is doing great and we hope things continue along this route. Without YOU, Christmas 2012 would have been very different.”

He added: “A year ago, she had the disease going right through her body but she is now in complete remission, which is fantastic.

“Basically, this means they can find no measurable trace of the disease with an imager.”

But he pointed out: “There are levels you can’t see on an imager and it would only take one cell for it to come back.

“That’s why she will continue to have antibody treatment – to seek out anything you can’t see. There are no
guarantees but we are going down the right path.

“Anything could happen tomorrow because at the moment there is no cure for neuroblastoma.

“But the longer she is in remission, the less chance there will be of the disease coming back. She goes back to Germany in February for more treatment and she will have scans then but we don’t expect to see anything on those scans.

“Five years down the line, we will still not be able to say she is cured but every year which goes by, there is less likelihood of it coming back.”

The next step for Vanessa will be getting back to school.

The Marr College pupil has been unable to attend because her immune system was so low.

But Chris said: “Her immune system is up about 50 per cent now so hopefully, after her next treatment, she will be able to go back to school.”
Vanessa Gets Cancer All Clear
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