Kira’s been fighting neuroblastoma since she was 11 years old. She’s now 16 and has faced four gruelling rounds of treatment to try to get rid of her disease.

Despite the best medical efforts it was not possible to remove a growing tumour during a major operation in January 2018. To give Kira the best hope of continuing her life free from this disease, she needed potentially life-saving surgery in New York.

Kira’s parents, along with her cancer specialist, identified a world-renowned surgeon who specialises in the most difficult to remove tumours. Thanks to enormous public generosity and huge fundraising efforts in response to their urgent appeal, Kira’s family raised more than the £340,000 needed for her life-saving surgery in 2018 and the operation at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Centre was a success. Kira’s scans were then clear in June 2018.

But by August 2018 an MRI scan showed neuroblastoma in the pancreatic area and it was decided that Proton Beam Therapy in New Jersey would be Kira’s best treatment option. It was her second radiotherapy to this region, so Proton Beam’s acute accuracy was important in the decision making. This was paid for from funds already banked from Kira’s urgent appeal.

Sadly, Kira’s cancer continued to grow during Proton Beam Therapy and scans in January 2019 showed new spots of disease in her abdomen. Her family were given the devastating news that Kira's disease is incurable.

Kira has since been granted compassionate use of the third-generation ALK inhibitor Lorlatinib drug, which has so far been effective and latest scans have shown a decrease in her disease.

Kira's family continue to fundraise for further treatments she may need.

Mum Aud, says: “Although this news is devastating, we thank you all first of all for your continued support. Figuratively speaking, Kira is undoubtedly swimming against the tide – but I think it’s so important to point out that she is indeed still swimming and we believe she will reach the shore… especially with her huge army supporting her.

Kira's story

In January 2014, Kira, who was then 11 years old, began to periodically complain of feeling unwell. She had stabbing pains in her side and general abdominal area and would occasionally vomit. Over the following 7 months, Aud, Kira’s Mum, repeatedly took her to their local General Practitioner surgery. At times, in between visits, Kira’s symptoms would seem to improve and doctors thought it could be growing pains or hormone-related.

Recalling that time, Aud reflects “I just knew, instinctively as a mother, that something wasn’t right.”

In July 2014, another visit to the doctors led to Kira having a blood test. As the results showed that coeliac markers were slightly high, Kira was referred to Gastroenterology for investigations which included an ultrasound of her abdominal area to check her bowels.

Aud and Ronnie (Kira’s Dad), were not prepared for what they were told following the ultrasound, that Kira had a huge mass in her abdomen. “We were told that Kira would need further tests and scans to confirm but the mass was huge,” says Aud.

Over the next few days, Kira had more tests and scans, including a biopsy on the tumour so that doctors could confirm a diagnosis. “Our world as we knew it fell apart at the seams. Our 11-year-old gorgeous girl had a cancer called neuroblastoma.”

Neuroblastoma is a particularly aggressive form of childhood cancer and the most common cancer outside the brain in children under 5 years old.

The mass in Kira’s abdomen was believed to have originated in her adrenal gland above her right kidney. Soon after the diagnosis, Kira began frontline treatment for neuroblastoma. This included six rounds of chemotherapy, which reduced the tumour by 80%. This was then followed by major abdominal surgery, which removed a further 16% of the remaining 20% of the tumour. Total resection was not possible because the tumour surrounded major blood vessels.

Astonishingly, there were no infiltrates in Kira’s kidneys and her kidneys were saved. Following her surgery, Kira then received radiotherapy followed by six months of an oral drug.

In November 2015, Kira’s end of treatment scan confirmed that she was in remission but devastatingly Kira’s cancer has since come back twice. This means that although she was considered intermediate risk at diagnosis, Kira’s disease is actually now high-risk.

Aud and Ronnie are so proud of Kira and how she’s coped with the demands of treatment and the horrendous side effects.

How you can help Kira

There are many ways you can help Kira: by making a personal donation; holding a fundraising event; getting sponsored to take on a challenge; or simply following and sharing Kira’s story through her Facebook page Kira the machine.

Download our free Kira resources (below) to support your fundraising, and click here for even more resources, including fundraising ideas, templates and guidance.

Sponsorship Form Campaign Poster Event Poster

To donate by text, send “KIRA” followed by any whole amount up to £20 to 70085. This will cost your donation plus your standard network charge. It won’t matter if you leave a space before the number, if you include a ‘£’ sign or whether you use upper or lower case.

If you’d like help supporting Kira’s campaign, please get in touch with the fundraising team on 0207 284 0800 [email protected]

“Please join us and support Kira on her arduous and challenging journey as she fights to kick this vile disease into touch! Thank you for all of your support.”

Kira’s parents, Aud and Ronnie.

Please select a donation amount: *
Set up a regular payment Donate