Brave tot faces new battle

Pippa Belle Cole with parents Scott and Michelle and sisters Ruby and Betsy-Blue.
Pippa Belle Cole with parents Scott and Michelle and sisters Ruby and Betsy-Blue.

A three-year-old suffering from cancer is unable to make her lifesaving trip to America for treatment after new tumours appeared in her brain.

Pippa Cole has an aggressive brain cancer and was due to travel to America next month with her family for specialist proton beam therapy.

But after new tumours showed up in routine scans, Pippa’s mum and dad Michelle and Scott, from Garstang, were given the devastating news that the US treatment will have to be cancelled.

Instead, from next Wednesday, Pippa will undergo 33 rounds of radiotherapy over the next two months at Christie’s in Manchester.

The treatment is so powerful that she will be unable to undergo further radiotherapy afterwards. And it has just 20 per cent chance of success.

Mum Michelle Howard, who also has three other children, said: “The tumour is growing so fast that we cannot get to America in time.

“Pippa now needs radiation on her whole brain because one of the new tumours has grown in another part of her brain.

“She won’t be able to have any more radiotherapy after this because it’s such a high dose.

“It will have a lot of side effects and will be life changing.

“She won’t be able to lead an independent adult life because her spine and skull will never grow again.

“But this is the only treatment left for us; we don’t have a choice.”

Pippa is bravely carrying on after preparatory treatment was carried out this week.

Michelle added: “She has been crying in pain sometimes; she is very up and down.”

The family had so far raised more than £12,000 towards the US trip, which will now be used to support them during the coming months, as well as for any specialist equipment Pippa might need.

Michelle said: “The money has taken a huge amount of pressure off us because we just don’t know what the future holds.”