A little girl has been diagnosed with a rare cancer after her parents noticed she was squinting and thought it was from looking at her iPad too much.
Eve Gascoigne, 6, is facing the biggest battle of her short life after being diagnosed with an extremely rare cancer.
The youngster, who had long golden locks, has now lost her hair after she started chemotherapy last week.
Concerns were first raised in November last year when Eve developed a squint.
Her family thought it was simply because she had been on the iPad too much.
But just days later she had been diagnosed as having a large brain tumour and quickly had surgery to remove it, The Hull Daily Mail reports.
Her parents Lee Gascoigne and Phillipa Batten suffered another blow when they learnt it was cancerous and poor Eve was suffering from the incredibly rare myoepithelial carcinoma.
Her mum Phillipa Batten said: “Eve’s eyes started to cross over so we took her to the opticians but he quickly referred us to hospital.
“We discovered there was swelling to her optic nerves which was caused by a brain tumour. This happened on November 23 and just a few days later Eve had major surgery.
“Then came the longest wait of our lives. Eve’s tumour was so rare the medical professionals struggled to categorise it straight away.
“It was sent to Great Ormond Street and Germany for thorough analysis. After seven weeks we finally got the diagnosis that Eve had myoepithelial carcinoma and she has just started a course of chemotherapy spread over 12 weeks.”
Eve’s family, who live in Bridlington, were devastated on hearing the news.
Mum Phillipa, 35, said: “It was horrendous, absolutely horrendous. We never expected she had a brain tumour and just thought she would be getting glasses to correct her squint.
“We thought she had watched too much television or had been on the iPad too long. It was a massive shock to us all.”
Myoepithelial carcinoma is rare in itself and normally affects the salivary gland. But to cause a brain tumour, particularly in a child, is incredibly unusual.
Phillipa said: “There are only seven children worldwide who have suffered from Eve’s condition. Luckily, treatment has been successful in most cases.”
Phillipa says she is incredibly proud of her daughter who has refused to let it get to her.
She said: “Eve is crackers. She has gone to school this week and we are trying to keep life as normal as possible.
“She is just full of it, always singing, dancing and performing. She loves Lady Gaga but I’m not sure she is the best role model!
“Eve is just an amazing person. She has not questioned anything and has just got on with it. Her hair has now fallen out but she still always has a smile on her face. She just takes it all in her stride.
“Eve has a scar on her head from ear to ear which makes being bald even worse. But she is still a cheeky little monkey.
“Her sister older Naomi has been really supportive while staff and pupils at Martongate Primary School where she attends have also been fantastic.”
The family are now focussing on raising enough money so Eve can receive proton beam therapy in America.
The process is similar to radiotherapy but it is more targeted which would avoid damaging the brain.
Phillipa said: “We have applied for NHS funding and we are hoping and praying that our application is accepted so Eve can receive the treatment she needs to prevent the tumour from ever growing back.
“If we are successful with our application then the treatment, flights and accommodation is all paid for. If we are not successful we will need in the region of £150,000 to fund the treatment, flights, accommodation, car hire and living costs ourselves.
“Both treatments zap the cells but proton beam therapy is so much more precise. We fear radiotherapy could danger Eve’s brain, causing learning difficulties and eye problems.”
The family have been told they would be in America for around nine weeks while Eve has her treatment. The family are determined Eve will have the treatment and have set up a justgiving page which has already raised £8,000.
Phillipa said: “If our application for funding is not accepted, we will do all we can to raise £150,000 so Eve can receive the proton beam therapy.
“When we set up the page we only asked for £5,000 to cover living costs but we reached that in just 24 hours.
“We are now looking to raise the full £150,000. If we get the NHS funding we will donate the money we receive to charities that have helped Eve.
“We will remortgage the house if we have to so Eve can receive the treatment we feel she needs.
“Bridlington Golf Club is holding a fundraising event on Good Friday and lots of people are raising money for her. It has been overwhelming.”