Keep an eye out for my fundraising studio sessions! I will be offering free shoots to help raise money for Anna!
I am writing this blog to share Anna's families story.
If you can help fundraise in anyway. Please please get in touch email@example.com
Thank you to everyone who has helped already! <3
In February 2017 we were told the devastating news that our beautiful 5 year old daughter Anna had Osteosarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer. In that moment our world and life as we knew it changed forever. Since then, Anna has endured over two and a half years of gruelling treatment. She's undergone numerous intensive rounds of chemotherapy each lasting almost a week at a time and had major surgery to remove the large tumour and whole humerus from her left shoulder and arm which was replaced with the fibula bone from her right leg. This resulted in her spending a long time in a wheelchair and needing daily physiotherapy to walk again and be able to move her arm. Due to her bones being weakened and thin from chemotherapy, she's also suffered fractures in her leg and in the new bone graft which took many months to heal.
For a few months last year, Anna had a brief spell in remission in which time she grew stronger and became more mobile, even managing to walk to school some days as she's always determined to spend as much time as possible with her beloved friends. She kept saying how she loved feeling “normal” again. We attempted to get our lives back on track and regain some happy home life and stability for Anna and her sisters Sarah & Ellen, but unfortunately this didn’t last long. Last November we discovered Anna had another tumour, this time in the soft tissue in her shoulder. Telling her this news was heartbreaking. She was so scared at the thought of going through it all again, and of losing her beautiful new hair. At this time, she was transferred from Oxford to RNOH Stanmore and underwent more surgery the week before Christmas 2018 to remove the tumour then started five more intensive rounds of chemotherapy and six weeks of daily radiotherapy all at UCLH in London.
She is now in remission for a second time and undergoing regular MRI and CT scans but the risk of further recurrences is extremely high. The NHS has helped us enormously since Anna's diagnosis and we are truly grateful to each and every person who has helped us and cared for her but we have to be realistic and recognise that treatment options here are very limited. Therefore, we have researched all options and treatments worldwide and Anna has been matched to a new targeted therapy treatment for the prevention of recurrence of Osteosarcoma at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK) in New York, for which she has now been approved.
There are links to read more about MSK and the official trial description below but this is a brief explanation of what the treatment is:
Cancer cells have a protein on their surface called GD2 which prevents our immune systems from detecting and attacking them. This new immunotherapy treatment uses an Antibody called Humanised 3f8 which attaches to the protein and focuses our immune system to detect and attack the cancer cells, it also uses a Protein called GM-CSF which increases the number of white blood cells, makes them better able to kill cancer cells and also makes the Humanised 3f8 more effective.
Throughout all of Anna's treatment she's remained our funny, caring, life-loving bundle of joy, crazy about Olly Murs, Minnie Mouse, hippos, rainbows, unicorns, art, France, Mamma Mia nights and most of all her beloved toy “Puppy” who manages to appear in just about every photo and hasn't left her side throughout treatment. Even when she's felt really poorly from chemo or been in pain she's always remained positive and has been determined to get through it and at the same time try to help others.
She has raised thousands for the Oxford Hospitals Charity by taking part in the OX5 RUN last year (click to see video) She happily took on the role of their poster girl and promoted the run through radio, television and newspaper interviews. As Team Anna, 50 of our amazing friends and relatives completed the run with us, all wearing the craziest wigs we could find in support of children going through cancer treatment and suffering hair loss. The charity recently invited Anna to meet Prince Harry at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford, where they told him about Anna being their OX5 RUN’s top fundraiser. She has also helped other cancer and children's charities through promoting their fundraising activities as she is always determined to give back and say thank you for the care she has received.
Along with her psychologist at the hospital, Anna has created superhero names and characters for cancer medicines and treatments which are being produced into superhero treatment cards so that other children, their families and medical professionals can use them to lessen the fear of procedures and treatments.
But although Anna loves helping others, she's now the one who needs help. We find ourselves in the incredibly difficult position of having to ask for financial support to fund her treatment and this is really hard for us to do, but we have to, for Anna.
Sincerest thanks for your support.
Ian, Keeley, Sarah, Ellen & Anna Drysdale
Please visit Anna's website at www.GoTeamAnna.org to see all our fundraising events and Anna inspired merchandise.
Please view the links below for a few of Anna's Videos created during the past few years of treatment:
The cost of Anna's immunotherapy treatment is $500,000. As treatment progresses, further costs may be incurred for inpatient stays or any additional medication or treatment that may be required, possibly due to side effects. Therefore, when calculating the estimated total cost of treatment, we have included a contingency amount of £10,000 for additional hospital fees and estimated amounts to allow for currency conversion, return flights to New York, accommodation near to MSK and medical insurance. We know this is a phenomenal amount of money but we will go to any length to ensure Anna receives the best possible chance of beating this.
In the event of receiving more money in donations than required or if for any reason Anna's treatment couldn't proceed or be completed, then all amounts remaining would be donated and shared between Osteosarcoma research related charities and groups dedicated to making a difference to children like Anna.
If you think you can help with fundraising in anyway please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
I mainly specialise in newborn photography. I have a fantastic friend Louise Ferguson, who is a Baby Photographer Sussex You should really take a look at what she has been up to recently. Louise blogs regularly with what goes on in her area. Also take a peak at her photography work. She will blow you away!