Braes cancer teen Ashlee Easton home from NYC after vaccine treatment

Brave schoolgirl Ashlee Easton is back home in Falkirk after life-saving treatment in the US.

By Jill Buchanan
Thursday, 21st May 2020, 3:24 pm
Updated Tuesday, 26th May 2020, 9:44 am

Now her family are hoping that lockdown travel rules will ease to allow them to return to New York later in the year for further medication.

The teenager, who was diagnosed with high-risk neuroblastoma aged just six, has received her fourth bivalent vaccine in New York which could prevent the cancer from returning.

Her family had been frantically fundraising for the £239,000 needed to allow the Braes High pupil to begin the treatment.

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Ashlee (13 with dad Donald, mum Lisa and brother Jayden (15) taking part in last year's Braes High Schooll Family Walk to raise money for her appeal fund

However in March, as the coronavirus pandemic began to spread across Europe and the USA, Ashlee (13), along with parents Lisa and Donald, made a mercy dash across the Atlantic only days before lockdown.

They had raised over half the money and 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.

But when they saw a window of opportunity to get her to the United States before the shut down of flights they decided to go.

Ashlee has now had four doses of vaccine at the Manhattan hospital and with the next not due till later in the year, the family returned to their Brightons home.

They are also overwhelmed that the fundraising total has been reached and thanked all those who had donated.

This week mum Lisa spoke to The Falkirk Herald about their trip, saying: “We are certainly glad to be back home after our extended stay in New York. Our planned four week stay turned into a nine week stay, however, it was all worthwhile as Ashlee commenced the treatment we hope will prevent her from relapsing in the future.

“During our stay Ashlee had four out of seven vaccines. We are very pleased how well she has coped with them and apart from the initial pain of the vaccine, which is likened to being injected with burning liquid, she has had minimum side effects of fever and a sore leg for around 48 hours afterwards,.

“It is by far the easiest treatment she has ever had to deal with.

“We are due to return to New York for vaccine number five at the beginning of August however we are in talks with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Centre in New York about the potential to delay for four weeks with the hope that travel restrictions will have improved by then.

“At the moment we are unable to travel on our ESTA so in order to return to New York it looks like we will have to attend the US Embassy to apply for a full visa. It is an additional stress and concern we could certainly do without.”

She continued: “Ashlee will be due her last two vaccines around November and then March 2021. We are keeping everything crossed that she can then enjoy her teenage years cancer free and put seven years of treatment behind her.

“We are sincerely thankful to everyone who donated to Ashlee's Appeal, it has been incredible to see our friends and community come together to help us reach our target, which at times seemed so out of reach. It means the world to us that Ashlee has been given this chance she so deserves, she has been through a terrible time and has overcome so much, we are so proud of her.”

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