In her six years on this earth, Ivy Steel has been through more than most of us ever will: three bouts of leukaemia, countless trips to hospitals for painful treatments with even more painful side-effects.
Tragically, Ivy’s little body is being ravaged by a complicated disease, one that requires complicated treatment called CAR T-Cell therapy, which is not currently available in Australia.
Her last hope is a clinical trail being performed in the United States. And, so Ivy needs to get there. Soon.
Ivy has spent countless days in hospital. Image: Facebook.
Sadly, as is so often the case in healthcare, the only barrier for the Steel family is money, and a lot of it - the US treatment would set them back as much as $400,000, which they need by December.
But there is a cavalcade of supporters working to storm down that barrier via the Ivy's Army Facebook page.
Spearheading the campaign is the little girl's mother, Jenna Steel, who recently posted that she is determined to do whatever it takes, to ask whoever she can, to help reach the lofty target.
"I need my child. I need her to beat this bastard disease again and live. But this is her last chance. I will beg, on my knees with my broken heart open to the world for someone to please help us," she wrote.
"I refuse to stand by and let my child die simply because of where we live, poor timing and our lack of financial resources.
"Ivy has been through so much in her short life, she has fought so hard for so long. She is the epitome of strength, bravery and resilience, but this is one fight she can not take on alone."
Ivy was diagnosed at two-and-a-half with chromosome-positive ALL, a rare form of the most common childhood cancer - acute lymphoblastic leukaemia.
She's undergone chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant courtesy of her four-year-old brother, but to no avail.
The CAR T-Cell therapy is the only option left.
In simple terms, the procedure involves extracting the patient's immune cells and genetically engineering them to recognise and seek out the telltale footprints of cancer cells, before injecting them back into the blood.
It underwent an international clinical trial last year, in which it reportedly cured a 21-year-old Adelaide woman of her cancer, according to The Herald Sun.
The next phase is proposed for the Royal Children’s Hospital, but with no confirmed start date the Steel family simply can't wait.
Instead, they hope to take Ivy for treatment at the Children's Hospital of Philedelphia, were the technique was pioneered.
As Jenna Steel wrote, "I would not be putting this out there if we had any other viable option. And believe me, I have asked. I have proposed, questioned and pleaded for all and any possible options," she wrote.
"It is important you know this, we are not chasing rainbows. This is a real, tangible, trialled and most importantly, proven treatment option for children in Ivy's position."
"Ivy deserves this chance to survive. Please help us give her the chance."
Donations can be made to JL & CM Steel ATF Iverson. BSB: 083 663 Account: 945125101, or on Paypal via [email protected] - just select the ‘gifted friends and family’ option.
As of last night, the total raised stood at $118,700.