Friday 26 December 2014

US treatment hope for little Alexandra

Kathryn Hayes

Published 14/07/2012 | 05:00

THE MOTHER of a terminally ill two-year-old girl is hoping a pioneering treatment in the US can save her daughter's life.

Alexandra Burke-Costa from Effin, Co Limerick, was diagnosed with an aggressive terminal cancer last November after a large tumour formed on her face.

The little girl was initially treated for what doctors thought was an abscess, but after antibiotics failed, an MRI scan confirmed her parents' worst nightmare. Alexandra was diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare cancer that forms in the soft tissues and can attack all parts of the body.

After her diagnosis the two-year-old underwent seven months of intensive chemotherapy every three weeks at Crumlin's Children's Hospital in Dublin.

She and her mum Tracy had to travel by train to Dublin from Co Limerick for the treatment as the family do not own a car.

"Her mum never unpacked her bag when they got home from Dublin because no sooner was she home when she would have to go back into the Rainbow Ward at Limerick Regioinal Hospital because she would be so sick from the side effects of the chemo," explained Alexandra's aunt, Margaret Creed.

"A recent CT scan showed that the cancer has left her cells. However, the tumour is still there and is inoperable and her prognosis is still very poor. She is on a light dose of chemotherapy now which her mum injects her with every day through a catheter in her neck. She also has a feeding tube."

After being told there was no further treatment available in Ireland, Alexandra's mother got in contact with the Buzynski Clinic in Heuston, Texas, where a pioneering technique could be used to save her daughter's life.

The clinic provides a wide variety of advanced alternative cancer treatments.

The treatments can cost anywhere between €30,000 and €100,000 and so far the family has raised €22,000 through local fundraising.

Donations can be made to Bank of Ireland, account number: 96313393, sort code:904536.

Irish Independent

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