School rallying round cancer girl

Nicole Bowers with parents Christine and Tere
Nicole Bowers with parents Christine and Tere
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A SCHOOL community is rallying round a young girl who has flown to the U.S. for life-saving treatment.

Nicole Bowers was taken ill in February and diagnosed with a rare brain tumour.

Doctors decided the best option for successful treatment was at the ProCure Proton Centre in Oklahoma.

The 10-year-old pupil of St Michael & All Angels School, Shelf, flew out with her parents Christine and Tere on Monday.

The NHS is paying for her treatment and travel during their eight-week stay but it is estimated they will need more than £6,000 for living expenses.

Pupils, parents and the wider community are now organising fundraising events to ease the family’s financial plight.

Head teacher Judith Hamlin said: “Nicole is a lovely, popular girl and her mum and dad have been fantastic and are coping really well.

“The message we have is the treatment has every chance of being successful.”

She said Nicole had a problem with her vision and a scan revealed the tumour and the youngster underwent an 18-hour operation which removed most of it.

Going forward, doctors ruled out traditional radiotheraphy treatment because it could have led to more damage.

Proton therapy is more precise and can be controlled to deposit the greatest amount of radiation right into the tumor and then stopping, allowing patients to receive higher doses with less damage to nearby healthy tissue.

Nicole will receive two 45 minute treatments several days each week.

“It has been a horrendous few weeks for everybody,” said Mrs Hamlin.

“Macmillan nurses came into school to talk to children as I was worried about the effect on them.

“The nurses were very good and the children got the information they need.”

Nicole’s brother, Jordan, 14, a pupil of Hipperholme and Lightcliffe High School, has remained in the UK and has had his head shaved to raise funds.

His rugby club Dudley Hill U-14s are organising a sponsored cycle from Shipley to Leeds.

The family, of Wibsey, are grateful for all the community support they are receiving.

Pupils are holding sponsored events, a charity night, coffee morning and a session at a play gym are also among events organised.

And, a supporter has given £400 from a sponsored cycle ride.

Friend, Eva Close, nine, said it was good Nicole’s schoolfriends were rallying round.

“Everybody is showing we care for her and are supporting her,” she said.

Anyone wishing to contribute can through the Yorkshire Bank account - sort code 05-03-33, account number 30532247.

Money can also be deposited at any branch into the “Support Nicole” account or Paypal directly to supportnicole@tokari.co.uk