Parents of girls with rare cancer are raising money for treatment

Florence has acute myeloid leukemia (Picture: Andrew Bark / SWNS)

Six-year-old Florence Bark wears a different princess dress every time she goes for chemotherapy.

The youngster is battling a rare form of cancer, called acute myeloid leukemia, and her parents Andrew and Stacey are trying to raise half a million pounds for her life-saving treatment – ​​which isn’t available on the NHS.

When Florence was first taken to the hospital with unusual symptoms, doctors originally though it was a chest or ear infection and then tonsillitis.

But on Friday May 13, the family received a cancer diagnosis and Florence started receiving chemo on Saturday.

Florence Bark with bunny ears on

She was diagnosed with the rare form of cancer in May (Picture: Andrew Bark / SWNS)

Florence Bark in an NHS outfit

Florence wants to help other children on her ward (Picture: Andrew Bark / SWNS)

Her dad Andrew said: ‘At the beginning of May, she had high temperatures and she was lethargic. On most evenings she was spiking temperature-wise.

They first diagnosed her with a chest infection. Then tonsillitis, then an ear infection.

‘We were at the doctors five times in ten days. She had mouth ulcers which were a common AML symptom. We kept going back and they kept saying the same things.

‘Luckily my wife kept going back. Her motherly intuition kicked in. We went to A&E on Friday the 13th of all days.

‘They eventually did her blood. Her white blood cell count was so low that they diagnosed her with leukemia on the spot.

‘Her gums were starting to really protrude. Her mouth was covered in ulcers. We now know that this is a common symptom.

‘My wife then called me at work in tears and said she had blood cancer. I blinked and then I was on the floor.’

Florence Bark with mom and dad,

Her parents are trying to raise money for life-saving treatment (Picture: Andrew Bark / SWNS)

Florence Bark in hospital

Stacey and Andrew say she’s a ‘happy go lucky’ girl (Picture: Andrew Bark / SWNS)

But Florence also requires a bone marrow transplant as well as other potential life-saving treatment.

As a result, Andrew and Stacey are hoping to raise the £500,000 needed for the specialist Car-T cell therapy in Singapore or the USA, which is not available in the UK.

Andrew adds: ‘She’s in the high-risk category. We’re going to organize the Car-T therapy before we know the results of the bone transplant.

It’s highly likely that it’s a needed back-up option. The bone marrow transplant is the safest option, but the CAR-T therapy is a possibility.’

Florence Bark in a princess dress

She wears a different princess dress every time she has chemo (Picture: Andrew Bark / SWNS)

Hospital in Florence

‘She has big bright smiles’ (Picture: Andrew Bark / SWNS)

So far, their local community in Corby, Northants, has raised more than £330,000 in just over a month.

And this week thousands of people went to school and work dressed in rainbow colors to raise money to mark Florence’s sixth birthday.

Andrew and Stacey say they’ve been blown away by the support for their ‘happy go lucky’ girl – who is always keen to cheer other children up on her ward.

Her empathy levels for a child are through the roof. She has big bright smiles. She’s always thinking about everyone else,’ adds Andrew.

Florence’s JustGiving page can be found here.

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