Braes teen Ashlee to begin treatment in New York

The family of a Braes teenager battling cancer made a mercy dash to New York on Saturday to beat the US travel ban.

By Jill Buchanan
Thursday, 19th March 2020, 7:00 am

Now Ashlee Easton, together with parents Lisa and Donald, is hoping that all goes well with her vital clinic appointment today (Thursday).

Ashlee, who is now 13, was diagnosed with high-risk neuroblastoma aged just six and has relapsed twice since then, most recently in November 2018.

Her family have been frantically fundraising for the £239,000 needed to allow the Braes High pupil to receive a bivalent vaccine in New York which could prevent the cancer from returning.

They had raised over half the money and earlier this month heard she had an appointment to get the vaccine.

Flights were booked and the family were preparing to fly out when they received a “devastating” email from a New York clinic saying due to coronavirus they were no longer accepting new patients from abroad and Ashlee’s appointment had been cancelled.

However, on Saturday evening mum Lisa revealed that Ashlee was now in New York.

Earlier that day it was announced that the US was to extend its European coronavirus travel ban to include the UK and Republic of Ireland. It is due to begin at midnight on Monday.

However, on Ashlee’s Neuroblastoma Appeal Facebook page the family revealed that they made the trip across the Atlantic.

Their post said: “Just to let everyone know we have arrived safely in New York tonight, there was no time to let you know as we had a small window of opportunity to get Ashlee over here before flights stopped from the UK, we quickly packed and jumped at the chance.

“It’s such a worrying time with coronavirus however we had to weigh this up with the worry of Ashlee relapsing as we may not have had this opportunity to access the vaccine again for a while.

“Huge thanks to Solving Kids Cancer and our oncology team in Glasgow for their efforts in getting us here, they worked so hard to make this happen for Ashlee and we can’t thank them enough. It has been a very stressful week for all of us.

“Our heartfelt thanks to every single person who has contributed to our fundraising, we will be forever grateful to you for making this treatment possible for Ashlee.”

Yesterday (Wednesday) Lisa said: “We really don’t have anything to report other than we are meeting with Dr Modak on Thursday, Ashlee is booked in for bone marrow biopsies on Friday and we expect her to receive the first of seven vaccines next week.

“We expect to get the first three vaccines during this trip then we will have a further five trips all going well.

“We just found out at 9pm the previous evening we had the go ahead to come to New York, hence a rush to pack and we 
only managed to tell my 
parents.

“Our appointment had been made and cancelled almost three times within the week with the ever changing situation with coronavirus, even after confirming flights and accommodation we received an email shortly after telling us not to fly, it was a very stressful situation.

“In light of coronavirus spreading, we haven’t really 
ventured far from our 
accommodation apart from picking up some food at a supermarket. Ashlee is doing well, a bit anxious about the vaccine. I’m sure she will feel better once she has had the first one and knows what to expect.”