Cancer-hit six-month-old girl given cells lifeline in fight to survive
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It is hoped the umbilical cord cells will help little Wendie Lou Smith’s immune system fight the disease. Wendie Lou, who was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia at just 15 weeks, has already amazed doctors by going into remission following gruelling chemotherapy in the last two months.
But because she has a very rare genetic mutation, her only chance of survival is pioneering treatment in America.
Meanwhile, Wendie Lou’s umbilical cord transplant at Glasgow Children’s Hospital will buy her vital time as her family try to raise £500,000 for CAR T-cell therapy.
Her mother, Sammie Jo Smith, 30, who lives in Kidderminster, Worcs, with partner Gavin, 36, said: “Because of her mutation, Wendie Lou will relapse.
“So this really is her only chance of true long-term survival.
“She’s in remission now and the doctors never expected her to do this well, so she’s surprising everyone.
“The umbilical cord transplant is going to buy her more time, but she is such a fighter it may improve things even further in the future.
“However, we are still fundraising because at the moment, the cell therapy is her only long-term chance.”
The US treatment works by taking the patient’s immune system T-cells from the blood and changing them in the laboratory, so they attack their cancer counterparts.
Because they remain in the body months after the treatment has been completed, it gives long-term remission for some types of blood cancer.
Sammie Jo, who lost her sister Megan, 27, to cancer in September, added: “We aren’t going to lose this battle and we will do whatever it takes to save Wendie Lou.”
- You can donate to the fundraising by visiting the family’s GoFundMe site.
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