Helping Hollie and her family fight this fight that no child or family should ever have to go through. #hopeforhollie
Beautiful 8-year-old Hollie Beattie is currently in the middle of the fight of her life.
In July 2018 Hollie was diagnosed with a rare, aggressive form of cancer called Neuroblastoma.
Since then, Hollie and her family, Dad John, Mum Jo and Big Brother William have been on the most harrowing roller coaster of a journey.
After an initial round of chemotherapy and surgery to remove the main tumor, it was shattering for them to hear that the repeat tests showed the treatment had failed to make an impact on the disease in her bone marrow. It was a heart-breaking outcome.
As a result, Hollie was unable to begin the first stem cell transplant that had been scheduled for January 2019, and after an agonizing week waiting for approval from the USA for an immunotherapy drug, she began a new set of combined chemo and immunotherapy cycles on the 19th December, and made it home just in time for Christmas after the first round.
Following these rounds of treatment, Hollie has also now completed two stem cell transplants which included two sets of four week stays in Starship hospital, with Hollie in isolation each time followed by additional weeks of radiation which took her through to April 2020.
After testing and scans on completion of all treatment, residual disease was still showing in her left Tibia, but her bone marrow was clear, which was another small step in the right direction.
Surgery followed again to remove the remaining cancer from her leg and following this in July the Beattie’s received the fantastic news that Hollies test results were finally clear.
Despite being in various forms of lockdown for covid-19, they made the most of their time and regrouped as a family spending as much time together as possible.
Hollie's scheduled 3-month tests were in September, always a very worrying time for the family and this time the news was devastating as her scans showed signs that her cancer had returned, this time as a tumor in her brain.
The impact on the family has been unfathomable and the reality of what they had to face over the coming months hit like a wrecking ball.
Starship were incredible as always and had Hollie in for surgery to remove the tumor within a week.
After an overwhelming fundraising effort late last year, enough money was raised to get Hollie over to Spain on to a trial to target the cancer in her brain and spinal fluid.
Hollie and her Mum flew to Barcelona in January 2021 leaving John and William here in NZ to get started on the trial.
In April however, their worst fears were realised when the cancer in Hollies bone marrow relapsed and she had to be removed from the trial that she was already on. The impact on the family left them devastated once again, but this time they were apart and unable to support each other in person.
Thankfully Hollie is in Spain where the latest treatments are available in the form of immunotherapy for relapsed Neuroblastoma in bone marrow, but of course the family are now facing astronomical costs again for the treatment and there stay in Spain is likely to extend towards the end of this year.
The strain they are under is unfathomable.
This is where we can all help this incredible family again.
It has been indicated that the new immunotherapy treatment will cost in the region of $300,000, which is overwhelming amount to be faced with yet again.
Fundraising is going to be vital to get this family through the next phase, and we need each and everyone of us to spread the word, share Hollies story and hold fundraising events up and down the country and around the world to get us to the end goal.
We have a big target to hit again, but with the help and support of our wonderful community, we know we can come together to help give Hollie this shot at the future she so deserves.
We've done it before, and as a team we can do it again.
Thank you for anything you can do to help, and please reach out via this page if you would like any guidance, additional information or tips on fundraising we will be here to help you.
We are forever grateful for the continued support, it means everything x
Friends of the family
As a striving young Auckland family, Jo and John are both working full time but we know that over this extremely difficult time there will be additional and unexpected expenses. This Givealittle page will help them to keep on keeping on.
An Incredible Milestone and Crossroads Ahead 13 September 2021
Today we reached the $600,000 milestone in donations!
We want to take this opportunity to thank you all again for your continued support and amazingly creative ways to help us fundraise for Hollie. We wouldn’t be here without you, and it has helped so much to relieve the financial pressure at an incredibly difficult time. All of your donations to date have helped us pay for Hollies treatment and continue to do so as we tick off each round of immunotherapy each with a $50,000 price
tag – you are all amazing and we will be forever grateful.
We know our updates have been infrequent recently, because for want of a better word, we are in limbo waiting for a clear outline of what is next. What we do know is that the next few months are going to be key in defining our next path as a family and for Hollie.
As you are aware Hollie is currently undergoing cycles of Naxitamab immunotherapy, each one is done on a monthly cycle and after every two rounds she is fully tested to see how the cancer in her bone marrow and bones is responding. At the point of her most recent relapse, Hollie had a Curie score of 30 for cancer points in her bone marrow and bones. Considering this number had been down to 1 prior to heading over to Spain, this was disappointing.
After the first two rounds of Naxitamab the results gave her a score of 22, the doctors seem positive about her response as the majority of the cancer in her bone marrow had cleared, although spots of cancer remain in her bones. Hollie starts round 4 of Naxitamab on Monday, after this round the same tests will be repeated.
Hollie is full of energy again and the doctors seem happy with her response to the treatment. We need this to continue and for her to have reached remission after these 6 rounds. If she does, an additional 5 rounds of immunotherapy will be required to consolidate the treatment along with the recommendation to then continue with a new neuroblastoma vaccine that will be for longer term maintenance. All of these options of
course have financial implications as well as potential for extended periods for Hollie to be away from home and the family to be apart.
After pushing for more details, we are now aware that if she is not in remission after the next three cycles of treatment, we are likely to be advised to return to New Zealand for Hollie to receive treatment to keep her stable, as long as possible, and to begin palliative care at home. We know this is a devastating option to hear, but it is the reality that we are faced with at the moment, and helps explain the current difficulties we’re facing.
There is so much to factor into each decision that needs to be made, it is overwhelming. Morale in Spain is low at the moment, but we are doing our best to keep our spirits up. We are missing being together with our boys, and missing New Zealand more than
ever. All we can do is take one day at a time, and deal with scenarios as they are presented to us.
Your ongoing support means so much and gets us through the tough times. We will continue to keep you updated on Hollies progress over the next couple of months, and hope that we have some good news for your soon.