Fundraiser for Luna raises £30,000 towards lifesaving treatment

First published in News Watford Observer: Photograph of the Author by , Features Writer

The family of Luna Petagine, who is battling cancer, have paid tribute to the organisers of a fundraising evening which raised £30,000 towards her treatment.

Wendy Attwood, Jane Ferguson, Linzi Hudson, Anna Iversen, Suzanne Mahoney, Joanne Rita, Cheryl Sloper and Linda Wilkinson clubbed together to organise the “Light up the Sky” ball at the Watford Hilton on November 4.

Guests paid £35 per ticket and enjoyed raffles, a silent auction, a three-course meal and a disco.

Organiser Linzi Hudson said: “It was a fantastic night, a real success and it exhausted all of us.

“Sarah Harding from Girls Aloud was due to open proceedings, but had to pull out for personal reasons. Nonetheless we still had lots of people attend. They came along not for a celebrity, but because we all had one aim ¬- to raise cash for a special little girl – Luna.”

Four-year-old Luna, from Oxhey Hall, is fighting cancer in the form of an ependymoma brain tumour. Following countless operations, chemotherapy and radiotherapy since her diagnosis in 2008, Luna’s family were told by UK doctors there was nothing further they could do to save her life.

But at The Burzynski Clinic in Houston, Texas, a pioneering treatment could prove the answer to their prayers.

The family had to raise £20,000 for preliminary tests, which established that Luna is suitable for treatment, and further cash for ongoing medication.

Lucy, Luna’s mother, said: “I can’t thank the organisers, guests and Watford Hilton enough for raising all of that money. We all had a lovely time at the event and it was great to see that people are still offering their support.

“It’s so important we continue to raise cash for Luna’s treatment. At the moment she isn’t particularly well, she’s been in Great Ormond Street Hospital having surgery.

“The shunt, tube in her brain which drains fluid from her head, isn’t working properly, it’s blocked, so doctors have had to operate.

“We think the treatment from Burzynski is working, but it causes the tumour to swell before it breaks down and the swelling is making her poorly.

“Dr Burzynski in Texas explained that the tumour had enlarged, but this is due to the tumour breakdown because of the treatment. The problem is there is very little room for more breakdown and swelling.

“We have made the decision to continue with the treatment from home and hope other medications will control the swelling.”

• To donate money to Luna's Community Appeal Fund, to find out more, or to tell us about your fundraiser for Luna, email: amulderrig@london.newsquest.co.uk, visit www.lunapetagine.co.uk and www.justgiving.com/lunaappealfund.

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