News and events News Brave Isabella ‘an inspiration’ A Walsall community are continuing their fundraising efforts in a bid to send a schoolgirl to America for pioneering therapy. Isabella Lyttle, from Walsall, has fought neuroblastoma – a rare childhood cancer – since the age of three-and-a-half. The 11-year-old, who attends St Francis Catholic Primary School and St Francis of Assisi church, is now on her third relapse and sadly options on the NHS are limited. However, there is a hope that if she can access pioneering therapy in New York the trial treatment could potentially be life-saving – but it’s down to fundraising to make that happen. A minimum of £150,000 needs to be raised, but this is likely to stretch beyond £200,000. Isabella’s mum, Jen, said: “Isabella is being put forward for a clinical trial in Southampton which is phase 1, meaning there are no results yet available to show if the treatment is successful. “Relapsed neuroblastoma is hard to treat. The vaccine in America is a treatment that is showing good results for children with neuroblastoma, but unfortunately it isn’t yet available here.” Family, friends and volunteers of the fundraising campaign (known as Team Isabella) have already raised a whopping £96,000 through a variety of fundraising events, but there’s still a long way to go. And Isabella is no stranger to fundraising herself, having written a short story called The Secret Adventure of the Fantasy Friends and having it published. Isabella attends St Francis Catholic Primary School and recently made her Confirmation at St Francis of Assisi, which she attends when her health allows. Archbishop Bernard Longley, of the Catholic Archdiocese of Birmingham, said: “Isabella’s bravery, and her continued positive attitude, is to be admired. She is an inspiration to us all. “I am encouraging parishioners across the Archdiocese to pray for Isabella and her family.” Fr Malcolm Glaze, of St Francis of Assisi, echoed this sentiment: “The tenacity and courage of both Isabella and her parents and wider family and friends is an inspiration to all.” Despite her condition Isabella remains positive and is determined to overcome her cancer. To date she has taken part in 10 clinical trials for the NHS and Cancer Research, and she was one of several ‘faces’ of Acorn Hospice’s recent 30th anniversary celebrations. And together with her godmother, Isabella helped to create The ‘C Word’ video, to raise awareness of her fight. This has now gone viral and can be viewed here If you can help Isabella please donate here Photos: Isabella makes a guest appearance at a recent fun run event.