Fermanagh dad's funding plea to send little cancer girl Nadezda to for treatment
The parents of a two-year-old girl from Co Fermanagh currently undergoing chemotherapy are pleading for help to get her life-saving cancer treatment in Israel.
Nadezda (pronounced Nadia) Laporionok from Kesh was born with cleft palate syndrome, giving her problems with swallowing in her early life.
But last year her health worsened when a tumour was discovered behind one of her eyes and she was diagnosed in November with a life-threatening soft tissue cancer, Rhabdomyosarcoma.
She is currently receiving chemotherapy at the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Belfast.
Her father Aleksandr Laporionok, who is originally from Lithuania and a head chef at the Manor House hotel in Co Fermanagh, said he, his wife Olesia and older daughter Leila are desperate to help Nadezda.
Aleksandr said the Clalit Hospital in Israel had a high success rate treating children with Nadezda's condition, but at great expense.
The treatment needs to begin this summer and the family has managed to raise £10,820 so far through an online fundraising campaign. Initially the clinic predicted a cost of £50,000 but this soon doubled to an estimated £100,000.
"The expense for us is unreal," said Aleksandr.
"They're charging £1,800 for just one night's stay in the hospital.
"I know at least we'll need £50,000 to even start the treatment."
The family said they will do everything to raise the money but will look at alternative clinics in Turkey if the huge expense proves impossible.
Having spent Christmas Day in hospital with her family, Nadezda is getting ready to enter her fourth round of chemotherapy.
"It's tough; she was in hospital for three months with only one day home," her father said.
At one point she was left in a critical condition after side effects from her medication affected her breathing.
"She had to be put in an induced coma in intensive care.
"The doctors told me they didn't think she would recover," said Aleksandr.
"She's a strong girl, it's difficult but she doesn't give up."
He added: "She loves her mum and doesn't let her go anywhere without her.
"She loves playing games and animals.
"We have a dog at home and she uses it like a pillow."
More information on the appeal can be found by visiting www.justgiving.com and searching for Nadezda Laporionok