OKLAHOMA CITY – A family from England traveled more than 4,500 miles to Oklahoma City to save their daughter’s life.
The family wanted to save their 2-year-old from a growing tumor with a treatment not available in the U.K.
“We thought what the hospital thought that it was a cyst,” said Lesley Barsby, Bethany’s mother. “Then for the news to come back that it was an actual tumor your world just come crashing down.”
Doctors said Bethany is fighting a rare form of cancer that developed in her muscle cheek called Rhabdomyosarcoma.
Only 350 cases are discovered in the United States every year and that number is even smaller in the U.K.
Bethany has already had two surgeries and six months of intensive chemotherapy.
“She needed something else either a major operation that would be quite deforming,” said Dr. Michael Confer, Radiation Oncologist. “We don’t do that to kids and so the other option is radio therapy.”
Going under the knife could result in Bethany losing half of her face. Her family turned to the Procure Proton Therapy Center for a specialized form of radiation instead.
“In Bethany’s case we want to treat her cheek and around her eye, but we don’t want to treat her brain and mouth and other parts of her body.”
The fight is not over for Bethany, but her dad knows his little girl will make it through.
“As a parent if we could take it away from her we would have it and deal with it,” said Paul Topley, Bethany’s dad. “You would do that for your kids.”
Click here if you would like to donate to the Bethany Topley Community Fund.