Alisha Savage was born on 20/08/2010. She was just turned 2 years old when she fell ill with vomiting symptoms. She was initially diagnosed as having a viral infection which she would soon get over, however this was not the case. Over the coming weeks Alisha did not improve as expected, the vomiting continued and her neck started to tilt to one side. We took Alisha back to the CUH on 24/11/2012 and insisted on an CT scan. After the results came back Alisha was rushed by ambulance to Temple Street Hospital after various tests, we were given the devastating news that Alisha had a rare brain tumour. That's the day our life's changed forever.
She was sent for an MRI scan where it was discovered that Alisha had a brain tumour and underwent an extremely dangerous surgery to remove the tumour from the brain stem. The surgeons managed to successfully remove one quarter of the tumour without causing any major damage to Alisha but unfortunately, couldn’t remove it all as it could have led to a whole range of devastating side effects like paralysis & blindness.
The biopsy results on the removed tumour revealed that it was malignant and it was an Atypical Teratoid/Rhaboid Tumour or ATRT. This type of tumour is very aggressive and extremely rare worldwide. Approximately 1 in every 1.1 million children suffer from this terrible disease.
At a meeting with the team in Temple Street, we were told that the prognosis for Alisha's survival was very low and we were offered the treatment of an aggressive protocol of chemotherapy and radiotherapy in Saint Mary's Crumlin which might reduce the tumour size and extend Alisha's life-span and then review the situation on completion of the treatment.
After a relapse in june 2013 and more intense treatment Alisha had shown positive results in her MRI which followed, putting her in a healthy enough state to travel to the USA to enroll at the Dana Faber Cancer Institute in Boston where the countries top paediatric cancer research hospital is located and where they are at forefront of finding new ways of treating rabhoid tumors like ATRT.We have resided here in Boston since January 2014 and Alisha continues her fight and shows us everyday that as much we look for a miracle cure we know Alisha is the miracle as she continues to defy the odds stacked against her.
As you can imagine the cost of travel, accommodation, maintenance, medicines etc. is overwhelming. We would be eternally grateful to anyone with the expertise in fund raising to help us, and for any sponsorship or donations received to ensure Alisha can get the treatment she needs for the best
chance of survival.
John and Michelle know more than most about what it's like to lose a child, they have already lost a son Christopher who was still born and who would have been 15 years old this year. Alisha never got to meet her older brother but they will do everything in their power to make sure that she will be given every opportunity to be a wonderful big sister to Emma Louise.
Thank you for reading our story and for all your support and to all those for helping us get through this difficult time.
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