Cork toddler facing the biggest battle of her life 

Cork toddler facing the biggest battle of her life 
Chloe Jenkins from Silversprings, with her dad Gareth and mum Deborah

CORK toddler Chloe Jenkins is facing the biggest battle of her life when she undergoes major surgery for a large tumour in the coming weeks.

The 19-month-old from Silversprings was diagnosed on St Patrick's Day with neuroblastoma, an aggressive form of cancer. 

Medics found a large tumour, measuring 10cm by 10cm, extending across her abdomen and attached to blood vessels like an ivy plant.

Her mum Deborah told The Echo that Chloe was only diagnosed after being sent to hospital for hydration after having an apparent vomiting bug. 

She also had suffered with constipation and diarrhoea but had no symptoms directly linked to the tumour. 

Developmental delays in crawling and walking are now known to have been as a result of the tumour.

Six rounds of chemotherapy have helped shrink the tumour and increased the little girl's survival chances from 50% to 70%.

Deborah explained: "Chloe does not have cancer in her bone marrow or her skeletal system so it is isolated to her abdomen."

Her left kidney is operating at just 14% and needs to be removed. Her heart is also under pressure from the tumour.

Deborah said that surgery will involve the removal of both the kidney and as much of the tumour as possible. After the complex surgery, the toddler is likely to face radiotherapy treatment to eliminate any leftover tumour. 

There is no date set as yet for the surgery but Deborah is hopeful that the procedure will take place shortly.

She and husband Gareth are researching about an advanced treatment in Germany which they are planning to discuss with Chloe's medical team in Our Lady's Hospital for Sick Children in Crumlin.

Deborah and Gareth have, for the moment, both had to take leave from their employment to provide full-time care since Chloe's diagnosis because she has been hospitalised in both Crumlin and the Mercy University Hospital's leukaemia unit, and has to be protected from germs and infections to prevent her becoming ill.

Relatives have set up a GoFundMe page to help raise funds for the family while they await the next step for Chloe. 

It will help the couple meet their bills while off work to support Chloe, and it will also be used to fund treatment in Germany if her Irish medics believe it will benefit the little girl.

Deborah said that any funds which will not be used will be directed to the charities who have helped the family to date – Ronald McDonald House, the Cork Leukaemia Association, Aoibheann's Pink Tie, the Irish Cancer Society, and Hand in Hand.

Anyone wishing to help the family can do so at https://www.gofundme.com/f/dhqrw-chloes-journey.

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