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‘I need to fight with her’ 230k needed to send 22 month old baby for cancer treatment in US

PUBLISHED: 20:56 24 February 2020 | UPDATED: 21:04 24 February 2020

Baby Ireland who has stage four, high-risk neuroblastoma. Her family are trying to raise £230,000 to send her to New York for treatment. Picture: Ryan Banham

Baby Ireland who has stage four, high-risk neuroblastoma. Her family are trying to raise £230,000 to send her to New York for treatment. Picture: Ryan Banham

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A father is fighting to raise £230,000 to send his 22-month-old baby daughter for cancer treatment in the US which could prevent the chance of a relapse.

Ryan Banham with baby Ireland when she was born. The 22-month old has stage four, high-risk neuroblastoma. Her family are trying to raise £230,000 to send her to New York for treatment. Picture: Ryan BanhamRyan Banham with baby Ireland when she was born. The 22-month old has stage four, high-risk neuroblastoma. Her family are trying to raise £230,000 to send her to New York for treatment. Picture: Ryan Banham

A campaign has been launched to support baby Ireland, who was diagnosed with stage four high-risk neuroblastoma in her stomach last July.

Her father Ryan Banham, from Norwich, has appealed for help to raise the six-figure sum to receive vaccines to protect her against relapse, once she is in remission.

Ireland, who lives in Ipswich, was diagnosed after her mum thought she had suffered complications following the MMR vaccine.

Mr Banham, 24, who lives in Old Catton, said it broke his heart when his "cheeky" daughter was diagnosed.

Ireland, who is 22-months, has stage four, high-risk neuroblastoma. Picture: Ryan BanhamIreland, who is 22-months, has stage four, high-risk neuroblastoma. Picture: Ryan Banham

The stonemason said: "My heart broke into a million pieces when I found out my baby girl had cancer, I honestly did not know how I was going to continue on but somehow Ireland fights through everything with a smile, and I need to fight with her.

"The things she is going through and the treatment she is having is more than anybody should have to go through in a lifetime. I would do anything to take this all away from her.

"The extra treatment we want Ireland to have isn't available on the NHS."

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The family is working with the Bradley Lowery Foundation, which was set up in memory of the young Sunderland fan who was diagnosed with the same type of cancer in 2017. They have raised more than £30,000 so far.

Without the treatment, there is a 60pc chance Ireland's neuroblastoma could return.

Mr Banham said: "We've been bowled over by people's generosity so far but we still have a long fight ahead.

"Help us give our daughter the life she deserves."

Ryan Banham, from Norwich, with his baby daughter Ireland who has stage four, high-risk neuroblastoma. Picture: Ryan BanhamRyan Banham, from Norwich, with his baby daughter Ireland who has stage four, high-risk neuroblastoma. Picture: Ryan Banham

Gemma Lowery, chief executive and founder of the Bradley Lowery Foundation, added: "It is heart-breaking that another child has to go through the same journey Bradley did. Hopefully with the treatment in America Ireland will grow up to have the life she deserves.

"We have been working with Ireland's family tirelessly to raise £230,000 to get her over to New York for the vaccine. So far a fantastic £30,000 has been raised but we need the local community to come together just like my community did for Bradley.

"I know all too well what it is like to be in Ryan's position and it is something no parent should ever have to experience.

"Please, please support Ireland's fundraising, give whatever you can and contribute however you're able to, to help us ensure this beautiful little girl is given the very best chance."

Go to www.justgiving.com/campaign/IrelandsNeuroblastomaJourney to find out how to donate.


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