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Wibsey girl Nicole Bowers gets ready for her vital op
A ten-year-old girl with a rare brain tumour is due to start her pioneering treatment in the US on Monday.
Nicole Bowers, of Wibsey, has already endured a 17-hour operation in Leeds to remove as much of the tumour as possible and now needs to undergo proton therapy in Oklahoma City to kill the remainder.
The therapy, which is not available in the UK, is more powerful and accurate than traditional radiotherapy and does not damage surrounding healthy tissues.
Her parents Christine and Tere Bowers, both 51, have travelled with their youngest daughter on the trip.
Mrs Bowers said: “We arrived OK on Sunday night and first thing Monday morning had appointments with some of the therapists that will be looking after Nicole’s physio needs while we are here.
“We met up with the ProCure Proton Therapy staff on Tuesday. They took another CT scan of Nicole’s brain to exactly pinpoint the location of the tumour.
“This will then allow the treatment team to shape the proton beam to the exact 3D measurements of the tumour. Nicole also had a cast moulded to the dimensions of her body, as well as having a plastic full-face mask done. These molds are important as Nicole will need to be immobilised during the treatment.”
The NHS is paying for the family’s flights, accommodation and treatment but the trip, which could last as long as 12 weeks, will cost the family about £5,000 to £7,000 in living costs.
Family and friends are rallying round to organise fundraising events and a bank account has been set up to support Nicole, a pupil at St Michael and All Angels Primary School in Shelf.
A fun day was taking place today at West Bowling WMC in Dovesdale Road, Bankfoot, from 1pm to 3.30pm with stalls and face painting and on Monday there is a fun time from 5pm to 7pm at Geronimo’s indoor play area in Halifax Road with tickets costing £10.
To make a donation go into any branch of the Yorkshire Bank and ask for the Support Nicole account, sort code 05-03-33, account number 30532247, or send cheques made payable to Support Nicole to Yorkshire Bank, 165 Toller Lane, BD8 9HW. For those with a Paypal account, payments can be sent directly to firstname.lastname@example.org.