Brave Gravesend girl - fighting cancer 'with courage of a lion' - stars in her own book
PUBLISHED: 14:55 10 January 2014 | UPDATED: 14:56 10 January 2014
An eight-year-old girl battling an aggressive form of childhood cancer has been immortalised in a new book written to help her fundraising efforts.
Stacey Mowle from Trafalgar Road, Gravesend, was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, cancer of the nerve cells, in 2010 and is also undergoing treatment for cancer of the bones and bone marrow.
Her family will find out in a matter of weeks whether treatment for Stacey in the UK has gone as far as it can, and if she will be referred for more aggressive chemotherapy in America, at a cost of £500,000.
Her family and friends have raised £170,000 since February 2013 and have recently created a book about Stacey called The Girl in the Pink Bandana.
Written by Gravesend children’s author Robert di Falco, it follows the story of Stacey on her journey to becoming a princess.
Stacey, who lost her hair due to the chemotherapy, wears her pink bandana every day, and according to her family, is obsessed by fairy-tale princesses.
Family friend Steve Nash is coordinating the fundraising effort, and helped organise the book as a surprise for Stacey.
“She absolutely loves it, she can’t believe a book has been written about her,” he said.
Stacey’s family and friends have been working tirelessly in their efforts to raise half a million pounds for the treatment they anticipate she will soon need, taking part in numerous marathons and fundraising events.
The chemotherapy offered to children with neuroblastoma in America is not available in the UK due to a lack of trials.
American hospitals will treat foreign patients, but only if they can pay the money up front.
Until the £500,000 is found, Stacey will have to wait, putting her life at risk in the meantime.
“It’s extremely frustrating,” added Steve. “Stacey’s cancer is at level four, the highest level there is. But despite this, she never stops smiling. It’s a rare occasion that she will show the pain she’s in. She’s always laughing and joking.”
Since 2012 Stacey has been one of only 12 children in the UK allowed to undergo trails for a chemotherapy that has not previously been tested in the UK.
She is undergoing the last of these trials.
Stacey’s dad Warren Mowle said the family live one day at a time and try to give Stacey and older brother Jake as much stability as possible.
“Stacey is a fighter,” he said. “She has the courage of a lion. She’s been through so much.
Stacey spends 50 per cent of her time in hospital where she is undergoing gruelling six hour sessions of chemotherapy a day, but despite this, her family says she remains positive “and just gets on with it”.
“We take one day at a time, it’s the only way we can get by, you don’t look at what may happen,” said Warren.
“There’s so much Stacey wants to do when she’s older, she wants to be a dancer, a singer, a gardener or a chef. Everyone around her tries to keep positive and we’ve been so lucky with the support we’ve had from the community.”
Visitthestaceymowleappeal.co.uk for information on how you can support Stacey. The Girl with the Pink Bandana is available online from Amazon.