THE family of a three-year-old girl with an inoperable brain tumour have been "blown away" by the support of people who have helped to raise more than £100,000 in just four weeks.
Richard Saunders and his wife Chantal, from Melksham Close in Lower Earley, began fundraising for their daughter Amelia shortly after she was diagnosed at the end of January in a bid to raise the £200,000 needed for pioneering treatment in Texas.
The family flew out to America last week to begin the first stages of the treatment after the fund hit £118,637 following an £18,000 donation by Bupa.
Speaking from Texas this week, Mr Saunders said: "The fundraising efforts have been incredible, they have blown us away. There have been numerous cake sales, a fundraising event at Mothercare, and several marathon runners.
"We had the shocking news last week that Amelia's tumour has grown by 13% in seven weeks, which has made us feel all the more on a knife edge and we want to get Amelia up to speed with the treatment here as fast as possible.
"There is a chance it might work, but Amelia's tumour is still relatively slow growing which means the if the treatment does work, it will take a long time to shrink. "Much as the aim is to shrink it until it is no longer active, this may never be achievable - we just want to try, and if not have as much time as we can with her.
"We are are hoping and praying it works."
Sales assistant Samantha Hand raised £260 last Saturday at the Mothercare store in Reading where she works and fundraising efforts are continuing.
Zoe Chopra, a close friend of the family, has organised a charity zumbathon with more than 200 tickets up for grabs. She said: "I have been heavily involved in a number of the fundraising activities and it's fantastic that so many people have really got behind the cause."
The zumbathon will take place from 3-5pm on Saturday, April 14, at Loddon Hall in Loddon Hall Road, Twyford.
Tickets are £10 for adults and £5 for children aged seven to 15. Email: email@example.com