A Melton schoolgirl is having revolutionary treatment in the United States to help her battle a rare form of cancer.
Kayti Spargo (16) was diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma in September after developing a tumour behind her nose.
Because of the location of the growth she was chosen as one of the one per cent of UK cancer sufferers who the NHS send abroad for proton beam therapy, which targets tumours more accurately than radiotherapy.
Kayti flew to Florida in mid-December to be treated in Jacksonville and was accompanied by her parents, her brother Daniel and sister Charlotte.
Mum Lynda, a teacher at Sherard School, is staying with her daughter in the United States while she completes her treatment - the tumour has already been reduced 9mm from its initial 28mm.
Dad Nick, a Melton firefighter, who is now back home with his other children, said: “Kayti hasn’t cried since she was diagnosed and she doesn’t winge about her illness.
“It’s been really hard for the family. Especially for the children because all of the attention has gone on Kayti over the last few months. But they are having counselling and we are getting through it together.”
The diagnosis came as a total shock to the family. Her initial symptoms suggested she might have hayfever because of the problems she had breathing.
The growth has affected her eye sight, hearing and her throat.
Kayti, who has been wheelchair bound in recent months, also lost her long flowing hair because of the intense bouts of chemotherapy she has received at Leicester Royal Infirmary.
She donated her hair to the Little Princess Trust, which provides real-hair wigs for children who have lost theirs through cancer treatment.
Kayti is studying for GCSEs and hopes to win a place at Cambridge University
Nick added: “We are so grateful to family and friends for donating money so we could all go to Florida to be with Kayti. Work colleagues have also helped me by doing shifts at the fire station.”
Fundraising events are being organised to pay for Kayti to go on a dream holiday to Lake Garda in Italy or Sweden when her treatment is over.
They include a karate fight, sponsored 10km runs at this year’s Farmageddon race at Brooksby Melton College in April and other fundraisers by family members.
Go online to www.kaytispargo.com to donate.