The nightly stomach pain of Devon Girl appears to be rare

A girl who went to her stomach and complained of stomach pain was later diagnosed with a rare and potentially fatal cancer.

Cayla Jones, from Cullompton in Devon, has undergone intensive chemotherapy, surgery and radiotherapy to remove the disease from her body.

First thought to be a urinary tract infection, doctors then found a neuroblastoma tumor that spread from her stomach to her throat and neck.

The cancer, which struck when Cayla prepared to start primary school last year, is the same that killed 6-year-old Bradley Lowery in 2017.

Her parents Enya Gooding, 23 and Brad Jones, 25, are now trying to get £ 200,000 for treatment in the US to try to prevent the cancer from returning.

Cayla Jones, from Cullompton in Devon, was diagnosed with stage four gastric cancer in July last year, after doctors initially thought that her stomach pain was a urine infection

Cayla went through months of intense chemotherapy, surgery and radiotherapy to tackle the cancer, which spread from her stomach to her throat and neck.

Cayla went through months of intense chemotherapy, surgery and radiotherapy to tackle the cancer, which spread from her stomach to her throat and neck.

Miss Gooding took her daughter to the doctor last year after complaining about a painful stomach for a couple of nights.

Initially I thought it was a urinary tract infection, but the doctor gave her antibiotics, but they did not solve the problem.

"Cayla was fine during the day, but when it was time to go to bed, she would say she had a sore stomach, & # 39; said Miss Gooding.

I thought she was just trying to get away by staying up later in the beginning. & # 39;

But after the week-long antibiotic treatment ended in July 2018, Cayla was still not back to her normal self.

Miss Gooding said: & # 39; I explained that the antibiotics had not worked and we wondered what else could happen that caused her stomach problems.

& # 39; Much had changed in Cayla's life and I was worried that caused her stress.

I just had my second child, Finnley, earlier in the year and Cayla was getting ready to go to school in September. & # 39;

When the family returned to the doctor, he felt that Cayla's stomach was discovering a lump that should not have been there, Miss Gooding said.

He called a colleague and the two talked about what it could be – with the words & # 39; hernia & # 39; and & # 39; appendix & # 39; – but nothing could prepare the family for what would come.

Cayla (pictured for her diagnosis) had prepared for starting primary school when she became ill last July - her parents said she broke & # 39; were when she was diagnosed

Cayla (pictured for her diagnosis) had prepared for starting primary school when she became ill last July – her parents said she broke & # 39; were when she was diagnosed

Enya Gooding and Brad Jones first thought their daughter pretended to have abdominal pain to try to stay up later, but when her symptoms persisted, they immediately brought her to the doctor

Enya Gooding and Brad Jones first thought their daughter pretended to have abdominal pain to try to stay up later, but when her symptoms persisted, they immediately brought her to the doctor

Cayla had to be taken to a hospital in Bristol for more advanced testing after doctors in Devon first realized that the four-year-old was seriously ill

Cayla had to be taken to a hospital in Bristol for more advanced testing after doctors in Devon first realized that the four-year-old was seriously ill

& # 39; I saw their faces, & # 39; said Miss Gooding, "they both had a strange look around them, and then I began to worry. & # 39;

Cayla was admitted to the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital that day and after blood and urine tests and an ultrasound, an oncologist called the couple in a private room.

Miss Gooding said: & # 39; My heart sank. I heard them say that they had found a tumor and Brad and I both broke up, we could not talk.

I could not bring myself to ask questions, I only tried to gather myself and put a courageous face on Cayla not to frighten her. & # 39;

The family was transferred a few days later to the Bristol Children's Hospital for further scans and a biopsy of the tumor.

WHAT IS NEUROBLASTOMA?

Neuroblastoma is a rare form of cancer that affects children and usually begins in the abdomen.

Approximately 100 children, usually less than five, are diagnosed in Great Britain every year.

The disease affects about 700 new children every year in the US.

In about half of the cases, neuroblastoma spreads to other parts of the body, particularly the liver and skin.

The cause of Neuroblastoma is unclear. There may be a family history link.

The main symptom is usually a lump in the abdomen, which can cause swelling, discomfort or pain.

If the disease affects the spinal cord, it can lead to numbness, weakness and loss of movement in the lower part of the body.

The treatment depends on how far the cancer is and the risk that it will return after treatment.

Surgery and chemotherapy and radiotherapy are often used.

Source: Cancer Research UK

The worst nightmare of Miss Gooding came when the results were worse than expected – Cayla was officially diagnosed with stage four neuroblastoma.

Neuroblastoma is a rare cancer of the nerve cells that mainly affects babies & # 39; s and young children – about 100 children each year in the UK.

It is most common in the adrenal glands near the kidneys, the neck, chest, abdomen or pelvis.

The cause of the disease is unknown, but the symptoms include pain in the affected area, extreme fatigue, trouble swallowing or breathing, bruised skin and weakness.

Scans showed that Cayla's disease spread from her abdomen through her diaphragm muscle and into the lymph nodes in her neck.

Phase four indicates that the disease has spread a long way through the body.

Miss Gooding said: & # 39; We were really lucky that it was not in her bones, which is usually the case at stage four.

So that meant we did not have to wait to clean up her bones before the treatment started. & # 39;

Cayla began chemotherapy on July 19, after eight rounds in 70 days.

In the fourth round, the tumors in her neck had completely disappeared and the main tumor in her stomach had shrunk.

Miss Gooding said: & # 39; At the end of the 70 days her white blood cell count had leveled off and she had to be isolated for three weeks because her immune system was so weak.

& # 39; It was really hard because we had the baby, so trying everything was not easy, but we got through. & # 39;

An MRI showed that two-thirds of the stomach tumor had disappeared and Cayla had an eight-hour operation that successfully removed about 80 percent of what was left.

Physicians then harvested stem cells from Cayla's bone marrow, which could be used further in the row to replace cells destroyed during treatment.

Doctors have successfully removed large amounts of Cayla cancer and they will undergo scans later this month to see if they are already in remission - the family is trying to raise £ 200,000 to take her to the US for private treatment to prevent the disease returns

Doctors have successfully removed large amounts of Cayla cancer and they will undergo scans later this month to see if they are already in remission – the family is trying to raise £ 200,000 to take her to the US for private treatment to prevent the disease returns

Miss Gooding said: "She was hospitalized in Bristol for two days and on the first day alone she got five million cells, which was great.

& # 39; When she got home, she was so good – her appetite was better than before she was sick! It was wonderful to see her like that. & # 39;

Cayla went on for another week with high-dose chemotherapy and was fired on December 17.

Later this month she will have scans to see if she is in remission, before a final radiotherapy round.

Now her parents are fundraising to send her to the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, offering a vaccine that can reduce the risk of cancer.

Up to now, they have raised more than £ 30,000 of their £ 200,000 target using the Bradley Lowery Foundation.

Cayla suffers from neuroblastoma, a rare form of cancer that affects nerve cells and is most common in babies and small children - most patients are younger than five

Cayla suffers from neuroblastoma, a rare form of cancer that affects nerve cells and is most common in babies and small children – most patients are younger than five

Neuroblastoma killed six-year-old Bradley Lowery (pictured with footballer Jermain Defoe) in 2017 and his family now helps others raise money for non-NHS cancer treatments

Neuroblastoma killed six-year-old Bradley Lowery (pictured with footballer Jermain Defoe) in 2017 and his family now helps others raise money for non-NHS cancer treatments

Six-year-old Bradley died of neuroblastoma in 2017 and his family now helps others fundraising for treatment that is not available on the NHS.

Miss Gooding said: & # 39; When we first got the diagnosis, I did the worst and I went online.

& # 39; Apart from all the awful facts and statistics, I found information about the [treatment in the US] and the success rate was 85 percent.

& # 39; The chance that the cancer will come back in the first six months is 50/50, so we started shortly after with an online fundraiser with the help of the Bradley Lowery Foundation.

& # 39; They have helped us tremendously in setting up our fundraising and the team there can fully agree with what we are going through while they have gone through the same process.

We just want to give our daughter the best chance to lead a long, healthy life, just like any other parent. & # 39;

Go to the family's JustGiving page to donate.

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