THE family of little Millers fan Erin Moran are coming to terms with the heartbreaking news their daughter has an aggressive inoperable brain tumour.
Friends of her parents Chris and Nina are desperately trying to fundraise to send Erin (6) abroad for treatment — and more than £25,000 has been pledged in just a few days.
Chris’ childhood friend Joe Tillotson started the online fundraiser in a bid to support the family.
Joe (36), of Conisbrough, said: “There’s not much we can offer them, we can’t give them a cure, so it’s just about trying to support them.
“It’s one less thing they have got to worry about if they have these massive costs to cover.”
Erin has been diagnosed with a diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG) — the most aggressive and deadly of all childhood cancers. Most children succumb to the disease within one year.
Joe added: “Only ten per cent of children live for at least two years and two per cent survive for as long as five years even with treatment.
“Surgery is not possible in the UK for DIPG tumours because the tumour is in such a delicate and important area of the brain.”
Erin started a five-week course of radiotherapy and chemotherapy on May 26 at Weston Park Hospital to try to shrink the tumour in the hope that it will ease her symptoms.
Joe said: “With a condition such as DIPG, the outlook is one of sadness and despair. Understandably, Chris and Nina are seeking opportunities for alternative treatments with specialists across the globe, to try and improve the outlook for their precious little girl.”
The tumour attacks the brain stem affecting breathing, body temperature, heart rate, eye movements and swallowing.
Erin, who lives with her parents and sister Freya (10) in Doncaster (pictured,below), developed a squint on April 19 and was seen at the opticians four days later, leading to an urgent eye clinic appointment.
Ten days later she developed slurred speech and was taken by her parents to A&E, where she was again discharged.
She developed weakness in her right arm and leg and had a further eye clinic appointment.
An MRI scan was finally carried out on May 5 and Chris and Nina were told that they had found a lesion on the pons – part of the brain stem.
The following day Nina and Chris, who grew up in Swinton, were given the devastating news that they were going to lose their little girl.
While the family come to terms with Erin’s illness, Joe is spearheading the fundraising effort to raise money for treatment at the DIPG Centre of Expertise in Zurich, which could cost hundreds of thousands of pounds.
The couple have been astonished by people’s generosity and are grateful to have something positive to think about after being so low, said Joe.
“Erin was so full of beans and active before all of this happened so suddenly,” he added.
“She was constantly running round and enjoyed dancing, swimming and gymnastics,” he added.
Family friend Ben Fairclough has organised Erin’s Big Swim fundraiser at Manvers Lake on July 12.
For more information and to donate, visit https://www.gofundme.com/f/PleasehelpErinMoran .