Hastings parents’ anguish over both children’s rare cancer diagnosis

Denny-Rae and Marley-mae SUS-180220-130408001
Denny-Rae and Marley-mae SUS-180220-130408001

The parents of two young children have been left devastated after both youngsters were diagnosed with a rare form of cancer.

David Nassy and his partner Marie-Anne, of Hughenden Road, are staying at the Royal Marsden Hospital in Surrey while both Denny-Rae, five, and two-year-old Marley-Mae undergo treatment for acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL).

Their nightmare started on January 12, 2016 when their son was diagnosed with ALL. David said: “We were absolutely devastated. For the last two years we’ve watched our son go to hell and back. We thought things couldn’t get any worse but on January 12 this year our daughter was diagnosed with the same dreadful disease. She has deteriorated over the five weeks since being diagnosed. Words cannot express our feelings.”

ALL is a type of blood cancer that starts from young white blood cells called lymphocytes in the bone marrow. The disease is rare as around 760 people are diagnosed each year in the UK with it.

To compound the family’s ordeal, Denny-Rae’s condition worsened after two years of chemotherapy and he is now in desperate need of a bone marrow transplant.

David said: “Marie-Anne is 32 weeks pregnant and is due for a Caesarean section. A team from Oxford are coming to take the cord blood (stem cell) from the new baby, hoping for it to be a match for Denny.

“If not we will need to start a search for a donor that matches. The Royal Marsden is covering the cost of the stem cell harvest on the new baby but we were told we are lucky to have that as the NHS does not fund any other treatments other than the standard chemotherapy over three years.

“The NHS does not help cover the cost of a bone marrow transplant, which Denny needs.

“We can’t keep up with the costs of travel to and from London, living in hospitals and having to pay £1,000 rent a month. I’m no longer working because of the situation.”