Girl, 6, is given just two years to live after being diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumour – as desperate family call in renowned surgeon Charlie Teo for help
- Maddie Suy, six, has been diagnosed with a rare and deadly form of brain cancer
- Her father Alan Suy and his wife have called on surgeon Dr Charlie Teo for help
- While the cancer is incurable Dr Teo believes he could perform risky operation
- Nearly 1,000 people have already donated to GoFundMe for Maddie’s treatment
The parents of a six-year-old girl given less than two years to live have called in renowned brain surgeon Dr Charlie Teo for help in a desperate bid to save their daughter.
Doctors diagnosed Madeline Suy, from Sydney’s inner-west, with a brain stem tumour after she was rushed to hospital on November 28 suffering from a severe migraine.
Her father Alan Suy said he and his wife have not yet told Madeline just how serious her condition is because of their daughter’s young age.
Madeline Suy (pictured) from Sydney has been diagnosed with a rare and deadly form of brain cancer
Maddie’s father Alan Suy (pictured with Maddie) has called in highly respected neurosurgeon Dr Charlie Teo for help
‘All she knows is that she is sick and having really bad headaches and she’s getting help from the doctors to try and fix this problem,’ Mr Suy told news.com.au.
‘We don’t have the guts to tell her any more than that because she’s only six.’
Mr Suy has setup a GoFundMe page for Maddie’s treatment with nearly 1,000 people having donated as of Friday evening.
‘We can’t and won’t give up on her … We just need to do whatever it takes for our little ray of sunshine,’ Mr Suy wrote.
He said he does not know how much Maddie’s medical care will cost, aside from being extremely expensive, but added any donations not used for her treatment would be given to charity.
Mr Suy and his wife have already had an appointment with renowned neurosurgeon Dr Charlie Teo who confirmed Maddie’s test showed she has Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma.
Diffuse refers to the cancer growing into other tissue and mixing with healthy cells.
The Children’s Cancer Institute has called DIPG the ‘deadliest and most devastating’ childhood cancer.
‘The average survival rate from diagnosis is around nine to 12 months,’ the institute says.
The cancer affects about 20 Australian children each year and is incurable and inoperable but Dr Teo believes some parts of Maddie’s tumour may be focal and not diffuse.
Maddie (pictured) will undergo a biopsy to see if Dr Teo can operate on a tumour in her brain
He has recommended Maddie have an exploratory biopsy to find out how much of the tumour is focal.
If the results are promising, Dr Teo could perform an extremely delicate operation to remove parts of the growth.
‘However, it’s extremely high risk. If he makes a mistake and takes some of the dispersed part out, it may lead to Madeline getting seriously injured (paralysis, loss of senses, cannot breath etc.),’ Mr Suy said.
There are also other treatments available like standard targeted radiation therapy – as well as a trial for a form of targeted chemotherapy.
Maddie’s family (pictured) have setup a GoFundMe page for help with their medical costs
This experimental treatment requires DNA sequencing which, if positive, could allow the targeted drug therapy to stop the tumour from spreading.
‘In some cases this prolongs the child’s life, in others it makes no difference,’ Mr Suy said on the GoFundMe page.
Mr Suy said the decision on the very high-risk surgery is the hardest one he and his wife will ever have to make.
‘We just know that we want to give her the absolute best chance of pulling through this and living the life that she deserves,’ he said.