Hastings community rallies round to help girl, 12, fighting brain cancer

Belle with her younger sister Lily SUS-191202-141954001
Belle with her younger sister Lily SUS-191202-141954001

The community has rallied round the family of a 12-year-old girl fighting inoperable brain cancer following the launch of a fundraising campaign.

Belle O’Farrell was diagnosed with glioblastoma in November, a rare and aggressive cancer which resulted in her having two emergency brain surgeries inside a week.

She has also since undergone chemotherapy and radiotherapy, with a further 12 months’ of chemotherapy ahead of her.

247 Taxis & Coaches set up a GoFundMe page to raise money for Belle’s cause, with almost £49,000 raised so far.

Belle’s father, Mike, said: “There are some overseas trials of new treatments which are showing early signs of success, and we would love more than anything for Belle to have access to these. Belle’s mum Lucy has temporarily stopped work to care for Belle each day so she can take her to daily treatments and be there for her all the time. This has caused a financial strain too, and we are hoping crowdfunding will also help relieve some of these worries, allow us to be with Belle during all the treatments and to help make memories together as a family.

Belle’s mum, Lucy said: Through the most heart-breaking time of our lives, family, friends and the community have come together to give us hope, and for that we will be forever grateful. So many fund raisers have been organised by these people, some of whom we have never met! Belle has been incredibly brave and we admire how positive she has stayed throughout all of this, she is our hero.”

Belle’s family also wants to raise more awareness of brain tumours and the symptoms.

Mike said: “The early signs of brain tumours are very much overlooked. Headaches and sickness in the morning, vision problems, changes in personality are some of the early signs. We had multiple trips to the GP with Belle and thought she just had migraines, as both sides of the family suffer from them.”

The fundraising page is at www.gofundme.com/all-about-belle-fighting-inoperable-brain-cancer.

Mike added: “So many people have asked if they can run the Hastings Half Marathon for Belle, and there is now a growing group of friends, family and strangers, all running for her in #TeamBelle t-shirts.

“There is a separate GoFundMe for this at www.gofundme.com/f/team-belle.”