Daya wearing a pink Superhero outfitDaya is a fun-loving smiley, cheeky, strong and resilient child.

When she was just eleven months old, Daya was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, a rare and aggressive cancer, after a huge mass was discovered in her abdomen. Further tests confirmed that the cancer had spread quickly to her lymphatic system and bones.

After eight rounds of chemotherapy and countless nights in hospital with complications and infections in between rounds, Daya’s parents were told that the main tumour was inoperable due to its highly dangerous position.

It meant Daya went through a ninth round of high-dose chemotherapy at Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital. One of the most challenging phases in her treatment schedule, Daya was confined to an isolation room at hospital for six weeks.

Daya’s mum, Pamela says: “Watching your child suffer through round after round of chemotherapy and its awful side effects is excruciating and any parent’s worst nightmare.”

Travelling to New York

Daya's family chose to look overseas for life-saving surgery for Daya. The operation at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center was performed by a world-leading surgeon who specialises in the most difficult to remove tumours.

But to access the surgery, her family needed to raise £362,000. Thanks to the incredible response and overwhelming support for Daya, the urgent appeal hit its target and your donations meant Daya had successful surgery in September 2018.

Her parents, Pamela and Anupreet say: “Daya’s name means compassion and kindness. We chose that name in the hope that its values would give her guidance as she journeyed through life. We had no idea that she would herself become the focus of so much kindness and generosity from so many people at such a tender age."

“We have been bowled over by the response to our campaign already and the amazing generosity of friends, colleagues, and even complete strangers. The NHS has been fantastic since the diagnosis; the doctors and nurses have been real heroes for us, but we know that Daya’s future treatment options are limited. We will do whatever we can to give Daya the best chance of life, and through Solving Kids’ Cancer we want to help as many other families as possible in their struggle against neuroblastoma.”

Daya's story

Daya has two sisters including her twin, Jasmine, who was born deaf and disabled. Loving parents, Anupreet and Pamela, welcomed their twin daughters into the world in the Autumn of 2016.

Exactly a year later, Pamela noticed a lump in Daya’s abdomen and took her to their local GP. Following scans at their local hospital they were rushed to Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital where the family were met by the on-call oncologist. The lump in Daya’s abdomen was a suspected large cancerous mass and further tests were needed.

Her parents were left shocked and fearful when results of all the tests came back as neuroblastoma. They were heartbroken.

Things moved quickly for Daya and her family; she was sedated for more scans and procedures, including being fitted with a Hickman line (through which medicine is injected) ready to start an intensive treatment regime.

“There were moments of calm and fear,” recalls Pamela, “especially when they explained about the tests, the tumour, and the treatment. I wept quietly. I asked questions.”

She adds: “All sorts of questions were running through my head. The hardest question I had to ask – and believe me I found it hard to get the words out – was ‘do we have time?’ We are still hurting like every other parent but we need to not allow the negative to consume us. This is a nightmare and all nightmares end someday, but I just want to keep my baby alive.”

Daya’s fundraising campaign

As Daya’s family know neuroblastoma is an aggressive and complex cancer to treat. In May 2018, doctors advised that Daya’s primary tumour is inoperable. They successfully raised £362,000 for surgery in New York to remove the remaining neuroblastoma tumour. The operation at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center was performed by a world-leading surgeon and will give her the best chance of beating the disease.

But Daya’s campaign is being kept open in case she needs additional treatment after surgery, to prevent relapse or get back into remission. That possible treatment may not be available through NHS funding and could cost hundreds of thousands of pounds.

The family also wants to help as many other children as possible. If Daya does not use the funds for treatment, all money raised will go to Solving Kids’ Cancer and their charitable work in funding research and supporting other families against neuroblastoma.

How you can help

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

To donate by text, send “DAYA” 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 Daya’s campaign, please get in touch with the fundraising team on 0207 284 0800 and [email protected]

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