Westlife and Jonathan Ross among Twitter celebrities helping cancer girl Niamh, five, raise £450,000

May 19, 2012 5:47 pm 0 comments Views: 60

Internet savvy youngster: Niamh is using Twitter to raise cash

The parents of a five-year-old girl with ­inoperable cancer are using Twitter to raise ­£450,000 for treatment in the US.

Niamh Curry’s mum and dad have been told by doctors that she has a few months to live and her only hope is a drug trial at ­the Children’s Hospital of ­Philadelphia.

Chris, 39, and Samantha, 36, came up with the idea of asking celebrities to publicise Niamh’s plight in tweets, and have raised £130,000 since the start of the year.

Star names including Jonathan Ross, Jessie J, ­Westlife, Michael Owen, Vernon Kay and Kevin Spacey have helped by re-posting their ­messages about Niamh on their own Twitter feeds or posting a ­comment with a link to a fundraising page.

Removal man Chris said: “We created a Twitter account called Niamh’s Next Step and started sending ­celebrities messages.

Race against time: Niamh with mum Samantha, dad Chris, and sister Hannah

“The first person to follow was Amy Childs from The Only Way is Essex. As soon as she ­retweeted a message, Niamh’s followers went from a ­hundred to a thousand.

“Then Matt Goss tweeted, and Jackie Collins. Every retweet from a ­celebrity is great. But if they send their fans a message to ­donate it can raise £1,500 in a few ­seconds. Now when Niamh looks at Twitter she asks, ‘Why’s it all about me?’”

Niamh, whose @Niamhs NextStep Twitter feed has 16,000 ­followers, has neuro­blastoma.

She has had ­chemotherapy, an operation to ­remove a tumour on her adrenal gland, a stem-cell transplant and radiotherapy.

But in November 2011 doctors found the ­cancer had relapsed.

Celebrity backer: TV personality Jonathan Ross has taken to Twitter to support Niamh

There is no programme to treat her in the UK so the family, from ­Wellingborough, Northants, are pinning their hopes on ­experimental smart drugs in the US. Niamh, who has a sister, Hannah, seven, will have tests in ­Philadelphia to see if a ­genetic mutation has taken place.

She will ­then receive a cocktail of drugs specially designed for her.

The treatment could ­extend her life by decades.

A spokeswoman for the Neuroblastoma Alliance said: “Taking Niamh abroadfor help will dramatically ­increase her chances of long-term survival.”

 

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