A FATHER is desperately calling on people to sign a petition that could save his daughter’s life.

On April 19 this year, Scott Lau and his family’s “hearts shattered to pieces”, when his six-year-old daughter Kaleigh was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour called Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG). 

The devastating news came after Kaleigh mentioned she was seeing double on a Saturday morning (April 16) at home in Woodford Green.

After consulting with a friend, her father took her to Moorfields Eye Hospital in central London where she was quickly transferred to the Royal London for CT and MRI scans on her brain.

The results of an abnormal lump came back just before midnight and they were transferred to Great Ormond Street Hospital in the early hours of the morning, where two days later the diagnosis of DIPG finally came.

Mr Lau, 40, said: “We didn’t really know what it was, all we knew was it was serious – we were completely devastated.

“The doctors told us she needed 30 days of radiotherapy starting in a week and that was it.”

DIPG is a rare and aggressive tumour found in a central part of the brain called the pons. It almost exclusively affects children aged five to 10 and there is currently no cure.

Drugs to reduce the size of the tumour are sparse and can cost as much as £200,000.

Mr Lau said: “It scares us that it took nine months to create this little bundle of joy and in another nine months she might be taken away from us.

“Sometimes my wife and I do break down when we’re on our own, but we have to stay strong for Kaleigh and her brother Carson.

“She knows she’s got a lump in her head, which we call ‘the lump’, and she knows we are doing everything we can to get rid of it, but that’s all she needs to know for now.”

Four days before the end of Kaleigh’s course of radiotherapy on June 3, Mr Lau organised a national petition urging the government to fund more research into her condition.

He said: “We are desperately trying to find something that will help her. We are looking all over the world for doctors and scientists with a potential cure.

“I just don’t believe in 2016 there are still illnesses that are incurable.

“This might just mean we can prolong Kaleigh’s life, but there’s a chance it could mean a cure for all the families affected by DIPG across the world.”

He added that despite doctors warning him of the negative side effects of radiotherapy, Kaleigh has been “going up and up” in recent weeks.

He said: “She’s a real fighter and everyone always tells us how mature she is for her age.

“She’s still singing and dancing – I am so proud of her.

"She did struggle with homesickness in hospital but she's been so brave, and since she's been back home friends and family have flooded round to see her, it's been fantastic."

If the petition gets 10,000 signatures the Government will acknowledge it with a response. But they need 100,000 people to sign to get the issue debated in Parliament.

Mr Lau said: "The most painful thing is feeling so helpless.

"I have friends from all over the world ringing me crying saying they can't believe what we're going through.

"I just tell them to get as many people as possible to sign the petition and to keep Kaleigh in their thoughts.

"We're just doing what any parent would do, but if the petition is sucessful it could mean saving families across the world from going through what we are right now."

To sign the petition, please see the Parliament website at https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/131556.

For more information on DIPG see the Kaleigh's Trust website.