A mother-of-two from Lostock Hall has told of her heartbreak after her four-year-old daughter was diagnosed with bladder cancer.Advertisement
Francesca Garbett, known as Frankie, is now battling the disease with weekly radiotherapy at Manchester Children’s Hospital.
Sandra Kane, 36, says she and her family are now ‘on a roller-coaster and we can’t get off’ after the diagnosis in early October.
She said: “It started with Frankie having urine infections in September. She was in and out of the doctors and then the hospital all the time.
“Eventually they found it was the cancer. It was 19th October when we were told.
“Dave, my partner, was away in Portugual on a lads holiday and I had to phone him to tell him the terrible news. He was home within 12 hours and with us.
“Since then it’s been really tough to see Frankie change.”
Sandra, who is a letting agent and lives in Chorley, said her ‘bright and bubbly’ little girl had become far more sullen since her diagnosis with rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS).
She said: “Those who know her will know she is usually a right little madam. She’s like my mini me. She comes with me on viewings and the like and she’s great.
Keeping Sandra, and her partner Dave going, is the incredible support of friends and family since the diagnosis.
A fundraising campaign to help fund the family going to America, where the NHS are due to refer and pay for Frankie to have specialist treatment, has been widely shared and has already raised more than £8,000.
Sandra said: “We are just so taken aback by the outpouring of wellwishes and also how people want to do something.
“The money is to help us if we have to go over there for a couple of months. The NHS will pay for the treatment but the rest of it we will have to fund, flights, hotels and more.
“The reaction from people has been that they just feel helpless and they want to do something. So I spoke with my friend Lyndsay and they have been through this with their child being ill, and she said we should set up the fundraising page.
“I wasn’t sure at first as it can come across as begging, but she said we should as lots of people want to help.
“And wow, they really have. And it gives you such a boost. I want to be able to say thank you to every person individually, sit down with them and just say how grateful we are.
“I’m born and bred in Lostock Hall, round Tardy Gate, and went to Lostock Hall High School. So many people have been getting in touch from round there and saying how can they help and what can they do. I worked in Preston for years too, including at Preston College.”
Frankie is undergoing extensive treatment and Sandra says her hair fell out within two weeks of starting.
She said: “That was just the hardest bit. She had such lovely hair and was so smiley and lovely.
“They warned us it would happen but you just don’t think it will happen to your child.”
A Justgiving page has been set up with the aim of raising £10,000 that will be used as the family’s fund to help cover costs if they need to travel to America for the treatment. It does not pay for the treatment itself, as the NHS fund this if referred.
Sandra says any money above the £10,000 will be donated to childrens’ cancer charities to fund research and support.