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By her dad, Steven
When Maya was born, it was the best day of my life. Here was a brilliant little girl who looked so like me. She was always happy and smiling, and was doing ballet, karate and modelling all by the age of 6.

Then in summer 2006, Maya became sick and lost a massive amount of weight. The hospital diagnosed conditions from gastric flu to tonsillitis, but Maya just got worse. So eventually Maya's granddad demanded that she be checked for all possible conditions. And it was after a routine CT scan, that doctors found a mass on her brain.

Maya was rushed into Great Ormond Street Hospital to receive emergency surgery on a brain tumour. We were shocked to our core – how could it be that one minute we had the perfect life, and the next we could be about to lose our little angel?

The surgery removed 50% of the tumour, and Maya was then put on a gruelling regime of chemotherapy and radiotherapy lasting five months.

Following the treatment, Maya was a shadow of her former self. She had no hair, freckles all over her due to radiotherapy burns, and tubes sticking out from her fragile body.

The only consolation was that we'd been told Maya had a 70% chance of cure. But cruelly, the tumour returned after just two months and we were told Maya would die.

Desperate, we decided to continue with treatment, involving aggressive surgery and high-dose chemotherapy.

After surgery, the doctors said they thought they'd removed all of the tumour. I asked, 'Why didn't you do that the first time?'

We were told that Maya now had a much better chance of cure. But again the tumour returned with a vengeance.

Currently Maya is receiving more chemotherapy to stop the tumour growing. The doctors say they cannot operate and that Maya will die quickly if she comes off the chemotherapy.

Two years ago, I found the Burzynski Clinic after many hours of online searching. I couldn't believe what I was reading. Dr Burzynski has cured many recurrent brain tumours with his pioneering Antineoplaston Therapy, which targets cancer cells without destroying normal cells.

Tragically, this ground-breaking therapy has not been embraced by the medical authorities. It is Dr Burzynski's view that drug companies make so much money from chemotherapy drugs, that they will not even let him get a foot through the door.

I am disgusted by this. I am sure that we could find a cure for cancer within just a decade if only we used other treatments in combination with standard treatments. But I fear this will not happen in my lifetime.

Dr Burzynski's clinic is in Houston, Texas, USA, and truly is Maya's only hope. The treatment costs £50,000 per year. This is such a small amount of money to save a life. But is such a vast sum compared to my family's means.

So it will be my greatest achievement, through fundraising efforts, to raise enough money for Maya's treatment.

I desperately hope we can get the help we need through the generosity of the British public. I am certain it will cure my little angel of the cancer that has taken her over.

Thank you for listening,
Steven Skippen
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