September 22 2014 Latest news:
by Sam Blewett, Reporter
Saturday, August 9, 2014
An eight-year-old girl suffering from a rare form of cancer needs your help to raise money for potentially life-saving treatment in America after she developed another tumour.
Joni-Mai Stevens, from Hornchurch, visited New York City to watch her “idol” Katy Perry perform while on a six-week break from treatment aimed at allowing her to spend time like a healthy child.
But the holiday took a turn for the worse when mum Holly, 27, of Swanbourne Drive, noticed that another lump had appeared on Joni-Mai’s head, an indicator that the Ewing’s sarcoma she suffers from had spread.
Joni-Mai had only been on her treatment holiday for half the time needed but was rushed back to University College London Hospital, in Bloomsbury, to resume radiotherapy.
Grandma Patricia Walsh, 48, of Hornchurch Road, Hornchurch, said: “The cancer’s so rare, it accounts for just 1 per cent of child cancers, that they don’t know how to treat it.
“In America there’s a children’s hospital where they try different combinations of treatments. It could save her life.”
But before Joni can visit the St Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Mephis, the family must raise £150,000 and they are appealing to Recorder readers to help them. “Every day I wake up and I think how can we claw this money in. That’s what I do every single day,” said Mrs Walsh. “If this was your child, what lengths would you go to?”
Joni’s army of fundraisers have raised £56,000 so far but still have a long way to go. The next event they are holding is a ladies’ night in the New Windmill Hall, in St Mary’s Lane, Upminster, starting at 7pm on August 22.
For information on how to donate to Joni and to buy the £15 tickets for the ladies’ night visit joni-mai.co.uk.