Girl, 11, who survived cancer, says she now wants to be a doctor

Girl, 11, who survived cancer when she was five years old, says she now wants to become a doctor to help children like her

  • Pippa Vickers was five when she was first diagnosed with leukaemia 
  • Now aged 11, she is planning to become a doctor to help other sick children 
  • She wants to discover a cancer treatment that doesn’t make you lose your hair  
  • You can donate to the Mail’s appeal online at www.cruk.org/dailymailappeal 

Pippa Vickers was five when she was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia.

She survived and, now aged 11, is planning to become a doctor to help children like her.

It took years for her to get well – years filled with rounds of chemotherapy and emergency dashes to hospital every time she had a fever.

But with the support of her loving family, Pippa is back to full strength and focusing on her dream of becoming a doctor to help continue the work of Cancer Research.

Pippa, 11, was five when she was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia. She now wants to become a doctor to help others 

Most of the 1,800 or so children in the UK who each year develop cancer are treated with long-standing therapies such as surgery, chemotherapy or radiotherapy

Information on how to donate to the Mail’s children with cancer appeal can be found in the image above

This week, the Mail launched a major campaign with Cancer Research UK to raise money for children and young people with cancer.

And, below, Labour’s health spokesman Wes Streeting gives his backing to the Fighting to Beat Children’s Cancer appeal.

PROSTATE CANCER BREAKTHROUGH 

 Scientists have developed what has been hailed as the ‘most comprehensive tool to date’ to predict a man’s risk of developing prostate cancer.

The CanRisk-Prostate computer model, developed by Cambridge University and The Institute of Cancer Research in London, can generate a personalised risk score for prostate cancer by combining genetic data and detailed family history.

 

Pippa’s mother Laura, 38, from Guildford, Surrey, said that in the months leading up to her daughter’s diagnosis, the family was sent from pillar to post trying to find out what was wrong as her symptoms worsened and she struggled to walk or even sit up.

She added: ‘Before Pippa had the diagnosis, you read about it or see it on TV and you think, “That’s really sad, that poor child.” And you never think it will be you.’

Pippa was sent for intensive chemotherapy at the Royal Marsden Hospital while her mother and father, Thomas, juggled her care with looking after her younger twin sisters.

Her hair fell out, but her mother and sisters cut their hair too so she felt less alone.

There was a period when the family lived in constant fear, Mrs Vickers recalled: ‘I remember there was one holiday at Center Parcs in Luton when Pippa’s temperature went up. We had to take an ambulance straight back to our local hospital.’

But after a few setbacks, Pippa is in remission and is at school and playing hockey with her friends.

Her mother said: ‘It’s pushed her to want to be a doctor herself. Being a doctor would allow her to find more treatments. She wished there was a treatment that didn’t mean you lost your hair.’

Mrs Vickers added that without Cancer Research, she does not know if Pippa would be where she is today.

‘You give money, you donate, but you don’t realise how much of a difference it makes to people like me,’ she explained. ‘Pippa’s treatment was on a trial and that was only possible because a person donated money for the trial a few years ago.’

The Mail is asking generous readers to give what they can to the appeal to help turn the tables on cancer, which is the leading cause of death by disease in youngsters.

WES STREETING: I’m proud to support the Daily Mail’s Cancer Research UK campaign after the wonderful NHS surgeons and nurses helped me to beat cancer, and I never had to worry about the bill 

BY WES STREETING SHADOW HEALTH SECRETARY for THE DAILY MAIL

Last year I was diagnosed with kidney cancer at the age of 38. Nothing prepares you for that, but, though it may sound like an odd thing to say, I consider myself incredibly lucky.

The cancer had been caught early by chance – I had gone to A&E with kidney stones, the scans for which happened to pick up the cancer.

Living in Britain meant I had the good fortune of being treated by wonderful NHS surgeons and nurses – and I never had to worry about the bill.

It’s another case that haunts me – that of my eight-year-old constituent, Kaleigh Lau, who died of a rare and aggressive childhood brain cancer, Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma or DIPG. 

Wes Streeting was treated for kidney cancer at the Royal Free hospital in Hampstead after a tumour was discovered

He returned to the hospital after being declared cancer-free and said the staff had delivered ‘Rolls-Royce’ care

Watching her wonderful parents, Scott and Yang, fundraising for treatment at the same time as supporting their daughter and son broke my heart.

Speaking at Kaleigh’s funeral, in front of her family, her teachers, and her young school friends, shattered it – and yet I still cannot begin to comprehend the loss my friends have experienced.

This is personal and that’s why I am throwing my full support behind the Daily Mail’s campaign. There are so many children, like Kaleigh, whose futures are stolen by the cruelty of cancer. 

You can help them. Remarkable progress has been made in the past 30 years that has saved the lives of thousands of young cancer patients, but the recent spike in cases is seriously worrying.

We have to give our world-leading scientists the resources they need to get to the bottom of this, which is why the Daily Mail’s campaign is so welcome.

Speaking at Kaleigh’s funeral, in front of her family, her teachers, and her young school friends, shattered my heart – and yet I still cannot begin to comprehend the loss my friends have experienced

Watching her wonderful parents, Scott and Yang, fundraising for treatment at the same time as supporting their daughter and son broke my heart

I know times are tight but this is a worthy destination for whatever spare cash you can manage this Christmas. Britain’s brilliant life sciences sector is key to better care, better chances of survival and catching cancer early.

Clinical trials that we can run in the NHS are vital to finding new drugs with fewer long-term side effects that can blight the lives of young survivors. 

They provide families with access to ground-breaking treatments and can help us understand disease and tailor treatment better so that it has the best possible chance of working first time. 

In my role as Shadow Health Secretary, I meet our scientists and researchers just as often as I speak to doctors and nurses.

Britain should lead the revolution in medical science and technology, building on the amazing work that Cancer Research UK has funded to make the NHS fit for the future.

I have seen the consequences of the shortages in our NHS. It simply doesn’t have enough doctors and nurses – and patients are paying the price

I am determined that we seize this opportunity – and your contributions can help. For all the good work of our scientists and the enormous efforts of NHS staff, the truth is that cancer patients are waiting longer for appointments, scans, and treatment than ever before.

I have seen the consequences of the shortages in our NHS. It simply doesn’t have enough doctors and nurses – and patients are paying the price.

We owe it to every cancer patient, especially children, to put that right. I know that politicians need to put our money where our mouth is, too.

Labour’s fully funded plan to double the number of doctors trained and 10,000 more nurses and midwives every year can ensure cancer patients receive the care they need when they need it. Cancer remains the biggest killer of children.

This has got to be a national priority. I am proud to join the Daily Mail’s fight to beat children’s cancer – and I hope you will too.

You can donate online to the appeal here: www.cruk.org/dailymailappeal.

 

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