Family put home up for sale to pay for daughter's proton beam therapy

Frankie-Rose Lea was diagnosed with a brain tumour in August

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The Independent Online

A family is selling their home to pay for proton beam therapy treatment to treat their seven-year-old daughter's brain tumour, who has just weeks to live.

Frankie-Rose Lea began chemotherapy for the tumour in August, but it has since tripled in size and spread down her spine.

Experts say she urgently needs the same treatment received by five-year-old Ashya King, which would cost her family approximately £110,000. 

Proton beam therapy is a form of radiotherapy treatment for cancer involving high-energy protons, which penetrate the skin and release much of their energy at the site of the tumour. This destroys the cancer cells ability to replicate.

Ashya King is feeling better after 30 sessions proton therapy in Prague and is now heading back to Spain

Unlike conventional radiotherapy, most of the energy directly targets the tumour and avoids the healthy tissue either side of it.

Her parents Michelle and Sam Lea had initially planned to fly Frankie to America for treatment but an MRI scan revealed she requires surgery next week, meaning she will not be able to fly. They are now hoping to drive her to Germany or Switzerland for treatment instead.

A fundraising page has already raised £50,000 in three days. However, the couple need to raise the rest of the money as soon as possible amid fears Frankie may not make it until Christmas because her tumour is growing so fast.

The couple said applying for the therapy on the NHS could take up to eight weeks. Mrs Lea says they have now put their family home on the market for £60,000 less than the £220,000 asking price in order to sell it quickly.

Mrs Lea told ITV: "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."

You can donate to Frankie-Rose's page here.