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Parents Put Home Up For Sale To Pay For Daughter's Cancer Treatment

17/11/2014 12:30 | Updated 20 May 2015

Parents put home up for sale to pay for daughter's cancer treatment

A mum and dad who put their home up for sale to pay for cancer treatment for their seven-year-old daughter have been overwhelmed after the public raised £175,000.

Frankie-Rose Lea touched the hearts of the nation when her story was shown on ITV News at the weekend.

She is desperately ill with brain cancer and needs expensive proton beam therapy – the same treatment that five-year-old Ashya King has had - to give her a fighting chance of survival.

Her parents Michelle and Sam Lea set up a fundraising page and were overwhelmed with £50,000 in donations within three days.

However the sum was not enough, and the couple put their three bedroom home in Erith, Kent, up for sale.

Michelle, 36, a dinner lady, and Sam, 34, a businessman, marketed the £220,000 terrace at £170,000 to try to find a cash buyer for a quick sale.

But after word spread about the family's plight, a further £110,000 they needed and a bit more has been raised via their fundraising page.

Frankie-Rose was diagnosed with a rare brain tumour in August this year after her symptoms were originally dismissed as growing pains.

The tumour has tripled in size since she started conventional chemotherapy treatment and has spread to her spine.

Doctors say Frankie-Rose's best chance of survival is proton beam therapy abroad. Her family were planning to take her to the USA for treatment costing £160,000 but this weekend said they might have to go for an option in Europe because she is no longer able to fly.

Proton beam therapy is the same technique given to Ashya King, the five-year-old boy from Southsea, Hampshire, who was taken out of a hospital in the UK by his family in order to seek a cure abroad.

But applying for NHS funding could take eight weeks and Frankie-Rose's family fear that her tumour is growing too fast for them to wait.

Before the extraordinary generosity of well-wishers raised the funds, Michelle and her family, including Alfie, 11, and Freddie, five, were prepared to 'live in a box' to help Frankie-Rose.

Michelle told ITV News: "We are desperate. Right now all we can think about is getting Frankie to America for the treatment she needs to survive.

"We will live in a box if we need to as long as we are together. We have worked hard, our house is all we have but we will sell it to save her.

"Some people might criticise us for making the family homeless when we have two other children but I would rather do that than have to tell her brothers we let Frankie die.

"What choice do we have ? If we wait for NHS funding it will probably be too late.

"It would be nice to have a home to come back to after America, but nothing is more important than saving Frankie."

Following the overwhelming response from the public, the family will no longer have to sell their home.

Michelle told MailOnline: "What a wonderful world we live in when strangers are prepared to dig into their own pockets to help a family they don't know. Especially coming up to Christmas."

And Frankie-Rose, added: "Thank you everyone. I am feeling really happy now."

You can read more about Frankie-Rose's story, and donate to the cause on the family's GoFundMe page.

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