Fundraising joy for Bailey and family

A GIRL from Mirfield is set to have treatment on a rare brain tumour after almost £30,000 was raised to enable her family to travel to the USA with her.

Castle Hall pupil Bailey Coppack, 12, is due to fly out for proton therapy at the ProCure Center in Oklahoma City on Thursday May 10.

It is hoped the treatment, originally due to be carried out in Florida, will destroy a Pilocytic Astrocytoma wrapped around her brain stem.

Ordinary radiotherapy might kill the tumour but also damage healthy tissue, possibly leaving her deaf, paralysed or with learning difficulties.

So she has been referred to a centre in America for a treatment which should only destroy the tumour.

Proton therapy is so expensive that few countries in the world have it, and even the USA has only two such facilities.

The £100,000 lifesaving procedure is being covered by the NHS, though Bailey's family have had to foot the bill to travel with her.

Treatment could last for up to 12 weeks, with mum Lisa, stepdad Graham Ellis and halfbrother Jamie travelling for the first half of the trip.

They will initially stay in a hotel but will later move to a house or flat, and dad Damien and sister Ellie will go for the second half.

Mr Ellis, who runs plumbing, joinery and electrical specialists Ellis Property Services in Mirfield, said: "The amount raised unbelievable. 

"We're so grateful and want to thank everybody who's gotten involved. The way people have got together has been wonderful."

Lower Hopton WMC raised more then £1,500 with a disco and raffle while cheques have even been popped through their Overhall Road letterbox.

The fundraising climaxed last Saturday with a cheque for £10,000 presented to them at halftime during Huddersfield Town's home game with Scunthorpe.

The Terriers donated cash from programme sales from a recent match, held an auction and made Bailey a mascot for the day.

That and money pledged through events to be held later, including a skydive by Castle Hall teachers, takes the total to about £28,000.

There will also be a charity football match at the Batteyford playing fields organised by regulars at the Pear Tree Inn on Saturday May 12. 

It means Bailey's family can not only travell with her but also have funds to set up a charity to help others in the same situation.

Mr Ellis added Bailey is up for the next stage of her brave battle and said: "In many ways she's just like any normal 12yearold girl.

"But you realise how tough she is when you see her give a talk to two or three hundred people in a suite at the Galpharm Stadium without any nerves."


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