BEAMING Chloe Challoner is a picture of happiness as she sits joyfully with the cast of Cinderella and her family.
But the brave 10-year-old is suffering from a rare form of cancer and needs expert treatment in Texas, USA, in an attempt to stop the disease in its tracks.
Her family are embarking on a fundraising drive to help generate £10,000 to pay for the breakthrough therapy in February or March next year.
Their cause was given a huge boost thanks to the generous audience and cast of Cinderella at the Kings Theatre in Southsea, which raised more than £1,000 for her appeal.
The cast hit the Cascades shopping centre this week dressed in full panto costume and buckets to generate £172 for the cause in just an hour.
Her dad Jamie Giblen said around £3,500 has been raised for the cause so far.
He said: ‘The treatment is a clinical trial in gene manipulation in Texas and it’s not performed in this country.
‘After the infusion, we have to stay out there for six or seven days. If the worst-case scenario arises, we may have to stay out longer.’
Chloe, a pupil at Front Lawn Junior School, in Leigh Park, was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a rare cancer in children, last year. She underwent surgery to remove a large tumour from her right femur and made a good recovery following nine months of chemotherapy. But her family was rocked after doctors discovered she had secondary cancer in her lungs.
If the family hit their target, they will be able to fund treatment from renowned consultant Dr Steven Gottschalk.
Mr Giblen, from Rooksbury Croft, Leigh Park, added: ‘We know there is no cure but as parents we have to try and find the best available avenues possible. The cancer she has is so rare – they just don’t know enough about it, which is why we are pushing for a trial. If this is successful in prolonging her life, I will do anything I can as a parent to get it. If we can find a treatment it could give doctors the results to move forward and help treat children in the future.’
Chloe is now looking forward to spending Christmas with her dad, mum Becci Challoner, brother Connor, nine, and sister Holly, three.
Tracy Shaw, who plays the Fairy Godmother in the pantomime, said: ‘I want to do everything I can to raise awareness about Chloe.
‘She’s a real girl’s girl and loves Justin Bieber and spending time with her nan, and has a special bond with her daddy.
‘I have to do all I can to raise this money and you never feel you can do enough.’
To donate send cheques to Chloe Challoner Fund, 66 Renny Road, Fratton, Portsmouth, PO1 5BA.