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How you can join battle to save three-year-old Anna-Poppy’s life

PUBLISHED: 13:17 20 February 2019 | UPDATED: 14:48 20 February 2019

Anna Poppy from Bradwell has a tumour in a spine. Her family are fundraising for treatment abroad Picture: Sam  Lawson

Anna Poppy from Bradwell has a tumour in a spine. Her family are fundraising for treatment abroad Picture: Sam Lawson

Sam Lawson

A crowdfunding appeal to help a three-year-old girl gain access to costly treatment abroad is over half way towards its £50,000 target.

Anna Poppy from Bradwell has a tumour in a spine. Her family are fundraising for treatment abroad Picture: Sam  LawsonAnna Poppy from Bradwell has a tumour in a spine. Her family are fundraising for treatment abroad Picture: Sam Lawson

Anna Poppy Lawson is in Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge, receiving radiotherapy treatment on her brain stem, spine and hips.

The treatment works by killing cells and could leave her with a host of problems including brain damage.

It will be followed by chemotherapy, but has a limited chance of success.

Anna, from Bradwell has medulloblastoma, a form of childhood cancer which seemed curable but the prognosis is bleaker now she has relapsed and the NHS can only offer radiotherapy and chemotherapy.

Anna Poppy from Bradwell has a tumour in a spine. Her family are fundraising for treatment abroad Picture: Sam  LawsonAnna Poppy from Bradwell has a tumour in a spine. Her family are fundraising for treatment abroad Picture: Sam Lawson

Her uncle Sam Lawson from Bradwell said the family were heartened by the support from the local community and further afield with former Norwich City footballer Remi Matthews getting involved and auctioning signed shirts, and home-spun local events adding to the fundraising total.

“We are trying to stay positive because she has defied the odds before,” he said.

Mr Lawson said Anna’s parents Ben and Lizzy were also working with the Bradley Lowery Foundation - set up following the death of the six-year-old Sunderland fan to support families fundraising for treatment or equipment not available on the NHS.

To promote events a Facebook group has been set up called Anna Poppy’s Army to help people to keep up to date with the appeal and publicise events like quizzes and sky-dives, golf days and sponsored runs.

Two year old Anna Poppy who has a brain tumour. Photo: Ben LawsonTwo year old Anna Poppy who has a brain tumour. Photo: Ben Lawson

In the meantime a potential treatment trial had been identified for Anna in San Francisco, providing she meets the criteria.

Writing on the Facebook page her parents said: “Radiotherapy doesn’t seem to have affected her yet, but it’s not meant to until about week three, the daily general anaesthetic is starting to make her pretty tired though.

“Today Anna’s wigglies (Hickman line) go back in so no radiotherapy.

“Wigglies are a bit like a permanent cannula. It will be just next to her armpit and means bloods can easily (and pain free) be taken, and medications/chemotherapy given. It now means showers and swimming are out because we have to keep it clean and dry.

“Even though she is only three, she understands and is actually excited about getting her wigglies back because she will get a new little hand bag for it.”

The next event is a quiz night at the Kings Head in Filby at 8.30pm on Saturday Feburary 23, £5 per person.

What is medulloblastoma?

Medulloblastoma is a cancerous tumour that starts in the region of the brain at the base of the skull, called the posterior fossa.

The tumours tend to spread to other parts of the brain and to the spinal cord.

It is the most common malignant brain tumour of childhood mostly affecting children under 16, and rarely occurs in adults.

The first treatment step is usually to take out as much of the tumour as possible.

If the cancer spreads, the patient is given higher-dose radiation therapy before chemotherapy.

Even if it is successful the treatment is aggressive and can come at high cost to quality of life.

How you can join Anna Poppy’s Army

The family are keen to spread awareness of The Brain Tumour Charity which helps families and funds research into treatments.

To keep up to date ‘like’ the Facebook page.

To donate visit the Just Giving crowdfunding page by clicking this link.

Alternatively cheques made out to Elizabeth Lawson can be posted or dropped into the EDP/Yarmouth Mercury office at 12 King Street, Great Yarmouth, Norfolk NR30 2BA.

Anna’s uncle Sam Lawson can be contacted via mail4sam91@gmail.com.

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