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Two-year-old on chemotherapy drug trial to take part in charity fun run

Two-year-old Felicity Dawe, from Chester, Cheshire, was diagnosed with Neurofibromatosis type one (NF1) when she was just three months old.

A toddler who is one of the youngest children in the world to trial a chemotherapy drug will take part in a charity fundraiser.

Two-year-old Felicity Dawe, from Chester, Cheshire, was diagnosed with Neurofibromatosis type one (NF1) when she was just three months old and doctors found a tumour in her neck.

She is now one of the youngest children in the world to undergo chemotherapy of trial drug MEK inhibitor.

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Greg and Maria Dawe, with daughters four-year-old Emmeline and two-year-old Felicity (Family handout/PA)

Despite her ongoing treatment, the toddler will join her family to take part in a fun run to raise money for Alder Hey Children’s Hospital and the Children’s Tumour Foundation (CTF) next month.

NF1, which affects one in 3,000 people, sees tumours grow along nerves anywhere in or on the body.

Her father Greg said: “If these tumours occur in critical areas of the body, such as in Felicity’s case, the outlook for most is devastating because there is no effective licensed treatment and surgery is often not an option or at high risk of severe nerve damage.

“So far the trialled MEK inhibitors have shown great success shrinking tumours by up to 50%. With continued support, we hope this drug will successfully gain licences and be made available to give the same hope that we have for Fliss to many more children and adults.”

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Two-year-old Felicity Dawe, left, is now one of the youngest children in the world to undergo chemotherapy of trial drug MEK inhibitor (Family handout/PA)

Surgeons at Alder Hey hospital in Liverpool removed most of the tumour, which was compressing Felicity’s spine, but several months later MRI results confirmed the tumour had begun to regrow.

Felicity will now take a daily dose of the chemotherapy drug, offered through Great Ormond Street Hospital, for two years in the hope it will halt or even reverse the growth of the tumour.

Her mother Maria said: “We’re so grateful to CTF for giving Felicity the chance to trial the MEK inhibitors which give hope to children with inoperable NF tumours and we want to show our gratitude by raising funds to enable the vital research to continue.”

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Felicity Dawe will run a fun run to raise money for Alder Hey Children's Hospital (Family handout/PA)

Felicity’s parents, along with her four-year-old sister Emmeline, will join the toddler on the Southport Parkrun in Merseyside in August.

The two-year-old, who wears a cervical collar brace to stabilise her neck following her operation, will walk part of the 5km route and spend the rest of the time in her pushchair.

Mr Dawe said: “We’ve chosen these charities because they have already greatly improved the outlook for Felicity’s life and will continue to offer so much hope to our family and other children.”

To donate go to www.justgiving.com/FightingForFliss or join.ctf.org/fundraiser/1021514.

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