Family hoping that Abbie will be sent to America for cancer therapy
- Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2016
The family of a teenage girl from Great Yarmouth who has been diagnosed with a rare brain tumour has told of their determination to beat it.
Abbie Boast, 13, last week discovered she had a grade 2 diffuse astrocytoma, which is inoperable and won't respond to chemotherapy.
The news rocked her family, who are now hoping she will be sent to America by the NHS for a specialist type of radiation treatment.
Despite the diagnosis, the year eight pupil at Great Yarmouth High School has been keeping positive and has been the one to carry her family through the news.
She has vowed to beat the tumour, or what she prefers to call it, Jeff.
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She said: 'It was a shock but I am as strong as I can be in this situation. I don't like the word tumour so my aunty Kelly suggested we give it a name and that's why we called it Jeff.'
Her mother Ali Boast added: 'I am so proud of her she has been so positive through the whole ordeal you could put her next to anybody and you wouldn't think she was the one with cancer.'
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The first indication there was something wrong was on April 1, when she suffered a seizure at the Easter Fair in Great Yarmouth.
That was followed by another episode after a visit to a children's trampoline park on May 31.
After various CT scans and a biopsy at the Addenbrooke's Hospital, her family realised the full severity of the situation on June 28.
Mrs Boast said: 'We were told it was inoperable and standard radiation was very risky so it was all a bit bleak at that time.
'Then we were told about proton beam therapy. I would be surprised if they dangled that carrot in front of us, only to tell us we can't go.
'They told us to get our passports ready so hopefully we will be off in the next month. But whatever happens we are going to do all we can to make sure that treatment goes ahead, no matter how much money we have to throw at it, so that we can beat Jeff.'
The treatment is currently not available in Britain, so would require her to go to either Florida or Oklahoma in the USA for at least eight weeks.
It is considered safer than standard radiotherapy as it can treat hard to reach cancers, with a lower risk of damaging the surrounding tissue and causing side effects.
If it does happen then the NHS would fund Abbie's treatment as well as her flights to the United States with both her mother and father.
Mrs Boast said that Abbie has received messages and letters of support from Retroskate, where Abbie is an artistic roller skater, Great Yarmouth Girl Guides and friends at Great Yarmouth High School.
A committee group has been set up by friends and family called Abbie's Angels, which is coming up with a host of fundraising plans.
On July 29 there will be a cake and coffee morning at the Hatfield Hotel in Lowestoft and a family fun day at the Oliver Twist Pub.
While on July 30 there will be a car boot sale at St Pauls Church on Salisbury Road.
There has also been an online campaign set up called Little Bird's Big Battle. Abbie is known as little bird in her family to her aunty Kelly Wood who is known as big bird.
More than £4,000 was raised in just over 24 hours and there is a target of £10,000. The money would go towards funding her brother Ashton's, 9, trip to America as well as living costs out there and any costs they still have to pay for back home.
If you wish to make a donation visit https://crowdfunding.justgiving.com/Littlebirdsbigbattle