Video: Jorja reading after her parents were told her cancer has returned
A two-year-old Nottingham girl who defied medical odds by overcoming a tennis ball-sized brain tumour has seen her cancer return.
Jorja Dawson, from Bestwood, was initially diagnosed with the tumour on the day of her mother’s birthday last year (April 5).
Her treatment came to an end in February this year and she rang the bell on the oncology ward at the QMC to mark the occasion.
But her cancer has now returned with mother Carla Dawson, 31, saying doctors have said Jorja’s cancer is fast and aggressive and there’s only one chance to shrink the tumour with chemotherapy, a medication which kills cancer cells.
Carla said: “She had been doing great at home until around three weeks ago when she started to complain about having headaches.
“The doctors we took her to said there was nothing wrong with her and sent us home – we had to go to A&E and demand that she be seen.
“She had a scan and we found her original tumour hasn’t changed but she has a new one and is on oral chemotherapy at the moment.
“This one is different because there was no build up of fluid this time – just the headaches and there were no other tell-tale signs.”
Video: Kate Chaplin spoke to Carla Dawson in February after Jorja’s treatment ended
Jorja will be given a round of chemotherapy but no other medication can be given to her if it does not work.
Carla said: “Our consultant said this has to work because radiotherapy cannot treat her as there is too much of the disease itself there.
“The new tumour is not ball-shaped this time but is flat and is growing across where her previous tumour was.
“Doctors have told us to research other clinical trials and alternative therapies as chemotherapy alone cannot cure her and the tumours need to show a decrease on size to even be considered for radiotherapy.
“We are desperate – as a Mum I’m not willing to accept this and while she has got some fight, I have fight.”
Jorja’s parents are fundraising to seek alternative treatments not available on the NHS.
Carla said: “We have found a few eligible treatments that she would be eligible for in Germany and the US because if you’re a parent, you will do anything to keep your little one alive.
“While getting treatment at the QMC we spoke to a family whose son was being treated for a similar thing and he was put into palliative (end of life) care.
“We want to raise funds for Jorja in case she needs the treatment in Germany or the US – we hope she doesn’t and if that’s the case, we will send the money to the oncology ward she has been treated on at the QMC or to another family who needs it in our position.”
At the time of writing, £1,757 of the £2,000 target had been raised on their Just Giving page.