The Louth community has come together in support of Demi Knight (11) in her battle against brain cancer - and her family’s ambitious bid to raise £150,000 to travel to Texas for life-saving treatment.
As reported in last week’s Louth Leader, young Demi is currently battling a brain tumour for the second time, having first beaten the disease over a year ago.
Earlier this month, following a scan, it was revealed that the tumour had sadly returned.
Unfortunately, because the standard treatment has failed, the only treatment that can be offered to Demi in the UK is ‘Phase 1 and Phase 2 trials’ with more chemotherapy - which led her mum, Mel, to pursue other avenues for treatment.
Her family is now hoping to raise £150,000 to cover the cost of flights, accommodation and treatment at the Burzynski Clinic in Houston, Texas, which uses alternative Antineoplaston Therapy.
Despite the family’s online fundraising page being launched just one week ago, over 150 donations have already flooded in - with an incredible £3,670 being raised so far, at the time of going to press.
The fundraising page can be found at www.gofundme.com/Demi-knight-cancer-treatment-fund.
In addition to the money raised through the GoFundMe page, a whole range of other fundraising efforts have been arranged by others in the local community, who are doing their bit to support the family’s ambitious bid.
The Louth branch of Specsavers is currently collecting cash donations in store - and mum Mel said it is thanks to this store that her daughter is still here today.
Mel said: “It was Specsavers who got us an emergency appointment as Demi developed a squint in her left eye a few days beforehand.
“They took pictures of the back of Demi’s eyes and found that both her optic nerves were very swollen, which indicates pressure on or within the brain.
“They then arranged for Demi to have an emergency appointment at Grimsby, who then followed up with an MRI scan within a couple of days and found her brain tumour.”
Mel added: “If we hadn’t taken Demi to Specsavers we don’t know how long it would have been until Demi’s brain tumour was detected, and even if she would still be here now!”
Meanwhile, Helen Richardson at The Butterfly Effect Salon in Brackenborough Road, Louth, has organised a ‘masquerade ball’ which will take place at My Father’s Moustache in North Holme Road on Saturday April 14, with all proceeds going towards Demi’s treatment fund.
The swanky event begins at 7.30pm, and will include a two-course meal and entertainment throughout the evening.
Tickets are £25 each, and can be bought at The Butterfly Effect Salon, or by calling the salon on 01507 355760.
The salon is also offering to colour hair in Demi’s favourite colour - pink - for just £20, with proceeds going to Demi’s fund.
Local not-for-profit group The Comic Book Heroes - and independently-owned entertainment group focused on comic book ‘cosplaying’ - have also offered to promote and collect donations for Demi’s treatment fund when they attend events in future.
Louth Old Boys FC is also planning to hold a charity football match at the London Road Pavilion on May 5 to help raise additional funds.