A girl who is 20 months old and has leukemia is the subject of a fundraising effort to raise one million pounds so that she can receive treatment.
At the age of eight months, Hallie, who was born in Coventry, was examined and given a diagnosis at Birmingham Children's Hospital. However, after her most recent stem cell transplant was unsuccessful, her family reported that they were informed that the best choice for them might be to pay for treatment in the United States.
Hallie's aunt Hannah Dugdale commented, "It seems like a very big mountain to climb," and she was right. During the summer of 2022, when Hallie and her family were on vacation in Spain, she was given her initial diagnosis of the condition. After that, she was brought back to the United States so that she might undergo treatment there.
She has undergone two stem cell transplants, chemotherapy, and blood transfusions in her fight against a rare form of leukemia known as JMML. The combination of these treatments has resulted in a significant enhancement in her condition. According to Ms. Dugdale, they found out on Thursday that the most recent transplant had not been effective, and a clinician at the Birmingham hospital recommended that they undergo the CAR T-cell treatment as their only available alternative therapeutic option.
In order for the CAR-T therapy to be effective, a certain type of immune system cell known as a T cell must be extracted from the patient's blood. After undergoing genetic modification in the laboratory to make them more effective in targeting cancer cells, these cells are then replicated and infused back into the patient one drop at a time.
According to the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), these therapies fall under the category of "personalized immunotherapy treatments" and are "typically administered as a one-off treatment." Hallie's aunt stated that they would rather not have to wait so long and were hoping to move her to the United States instead of participating in the experiment that is scheduled to begin in the coming months at Great Ormond Street Hospital.
As a result of this, a third transplant will be necessary, which the family believes the NHS will not pay for. Hallie was described as "the sweetest little girl, she's so gentle and kind-natured," according to Ms. Dugdale, who stated that she and her sister had discussed having children for a considerable amount of time.
She went on to say that her niece "ought to be provided with every opportunity to live a long and happy life." She added that her sister, Kim, was "devastated as any mother would be" but that she was also "overwhelmed by the support she received" and that the campaign had already crossed £180,000. Ms. Dugdale expressed the hope that they would be able to begin the treatment even if they did not raise the total sum necessary. In an effort to obtain a response, both Birmingham Children's Hospital and NHS England have been contacted.