THE sister of a young cancer patient has handed over a cheque to the ward she was treated on.
Becca Razza and Andover Town Band, for whom she plays the euphonium, have raised £1,200 for the Piam Brown Ward at Southampton General Hospital.
Becca approached the band after 12-year-old Alice – who has played in the junior band Prospects – was diagnosed with a rare cancerous liver tumour just before Christmas last year.
Since then band members have held a quiz, auction and disco, with a free meal for everyone who attended prepared and cooked by Eddie and Alison Elmslie and Steve and Alison Large.
Eddie Elmslie, of the band, said: “Apart from knowing Andover Town Band has helped to support Alice, I was so impressed by the support we received from many people in Andover who attended or donated auction items and just generally contributed to the evening.”
Alice has spent a long time on the Piam Brown oncology ward, where she underwent three cycles of intensive chemotherapy and surgery to remove the 18cm tumour, which unfortunately proved unsuccessful.
Then, after a period of consultation, Alice was put forward for and has had a liver transplant.
Mum Debbie Razza said: “Twice we were told Alice’s treatment wasn’t working and they weren’t sure what treatment to give her next.
“A defining moment was when we returned very upset and uncertain of Alice’s future.
Our oncology consultant saw how strong and determined Alice was and then told us she was not going to give up.
“Our consultant at Southampton fought very hard to have Alice’s condition recognised for transplant, as normal protocol for transplant was such that Alice’s tumour size, which had then grown to 18cm, was outside the protocol for UK transplant.”
On 21 August this year Alice was given a transplant and has now finished chemotherapy.
While in hospital Alice, a keen cyclist, read an article about Diana H i g m a n , who rides for the GB Transplant Cycling team and gained a gold and two s i l v e r medals at the D u r b a n W o r l d Games.
Alice has since met the cyclist and now plans to be well enough to enter the UK Transplant Games to help raise awareness of the importance of registering on the UK transplant list.
Debbie added: “Without her donor doing that she wouldn’t be here today and for that we are eternally grateful.
“It is not until you are faced with illness as a family that you realise how important it is to register to give blood and register on the bone marrow transplant lists and organ donation lists. It’s all so simple and could give life to others, as one family has done for Alice.
“Alice has spent much of this year in hospital and through the difficult days has always kept strong and fought this horrible disease.
She is certainly a little star.
“Our middle daughter has played with Andover Town Band for the last eight years and they have been extremely supportive to us as a family during this difficult year.
“Our daughter wanted to do something to say thank you to Piam Brown for looking after us as a family during this year and asked the band if they would do a fundraiser.”