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I won't let Daddy die: Girl of six raises £4,000 for life-saving drugs the NHS won't provide


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Faced with the prospect of losing her father to cancer, Chantelle Hill reacted a little differently to the average six-year-old.

Instead of letting the grown-ups deal with it, she decided to save him herself.

Now, she has raised more than £4,000 to buy the life-saving drugs David Hill needs after he was told they were not available to him on the Health Service.

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Poster girl: Chantelle Hill with her father David, who has lung cancer

The little girl made posters bearing the words, "Please help me to save my daddy" and plastered them all over her home town of Darlington.

Her mother Tina, 48, said: "We are so proud of Chantelle. She worships her dad and can't bear the thought of losing him.

"She has put dozens of posters up in Darlington in the streets asking people for help.

"But it shouldn't have come to this – life-saving drugs like these should be available on the NHS."

The drug Mr Hill needs is called Tarceva. It is available for free in Scotland but not in England, as the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence found it was not "an effective use of NHS resources".

The £4,000 Chantelle has raised will pay for only two months of treatment, but she is determined to keep going and raise more, Mrs Hill said.

Mr Hill, 45, a builder, was diagnosed with lung cancer in December

A few months later he had an operation at the James Cook Hospital in Middlesbrough to remove the tumour from his right lung.

The father of four then had 14 weeks of chemotherapy to kill off any remaining cancer cells.

Mrs Hill said: "Chantelle really kept him going – she's a real daddy's girl.

"He absolutely dotes on her and it gave him strength to fight through with her just being there.

"He would still help her with her homework and play board games with her during his treatment.

"When he finished his chemotherapy and doctors said the cancer had gone into remission, we really thought he had beaten it."

But in November 2006, the cancer returned as a secondary tumour in his other lung.

He had radiotherapy, but that failed and he had to have more chemotherapy in July this year.

Doctors then told the couple that Mr Hill wouldn't be able to cope with any more chemotherapy as he had lost three stone and his body was too weak. His only hope was Tarceva.

Although it is not a cure, Tarceva has been shown to extend the lives of patients with cancers such as Mr Hill's and to improve their quality of life.

It has been welcomed by cancer specialists around the world and is used extensively in Europe and the US.

Mrs Hill said: "The doctors said we would lose David if he had any more chemotherapy treatment, so we couldn't risk that.

"To be told there was a drug that could keep him alive, but it wasn't funded by the NHS was just devastating."

Having decided to launch her campaign, Chantelle put up dozens of posters across the town on lamp posts, in house windows and on street corners urging locals to help with fund-raising events.

Thanks to her efforts, Mr Hill began his treatment earlier this week.

He said: "Chantelle has done a wonderful job and we have had a great response and raised enough money so far for two months of treatment.

"But it shouldn't be down to a six-year-old girl to help me – it's terrible that she has had to resort to pleading for her dad's life.

"What is going to happen when those two months are over if we haven't managed to raise more money?"

Charity bosses have criticised the Government for not making life-extending drugs available to all.

Just 30 miles up the road from the Hills, the South Tyneside Primary Care Trust has agreed to pay for Tarceva for one patient, Jimmy Jenkyns.

Mr Jenkyns's health had improved markedly after he paid for the drug himself.

Dame Helena Shovelton, chief executive of the British Lung Foundation said: "The Government must address unequal access to care for people with respiratory conditions across the UK."

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THis Little Girl Lives about 30 minutes North of our very ownDeanneJenkins who has fought so hard for her husband Jimmy and started a wonderful Tarceva advocacy site in the UK for others facing the sae dilemma, she has been in and fought so hard to win...

From THe Desk Of Deanna Jenkins

This is simply outrageous! Jimmy and I have spoke to Mr Hill on the telephone about Tarceva and post code lottery funding. I have an appointment with MP David milliband to discuss this further. It was supposed to take place on Friday but has been postponed until Nov the 9th. It is unacceptable that patients cannot have access to these drugs and finding themselves having to fight for them! as if fighting this bloody disease and the trauma that comes with it isn't a big enough battle! I am so pleased to see that Mr Hill has started the drug. I hope he does as well on it as Jimmy is.



« Last Edit: Today at 2:20pm by Deanne Jenkyns » Link to Post - Back to Top Logged


Me Deanne 39 yrs set up this website to offer support to others. Husband Jimmy diagnosed with NSCLC adenocarcinoma on the 27/4/06 currently having to self fund the drug Tarceva fighting to get it on the NHS. Has had 1st line chemo and radical radiotherapy. Jimmy is doing great. I am so very proud of him and love him with all of my heart.

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