Ka'iulani

We are raising funds to give Ka’iulani Forbes the best fighting chance to beat Neuroblastoma.

Two-year-old Ka’iulani is fighting a high profile battle against a rare type of cancer, Neuroblastoma, after 50 GP visits failed to diagnose the disease. Since her diagnosis Ka’iulani has gone through chemotherapy and two major surgeries to remove 75% of the pineapple size tumour in her abdomen. The cancer has also caused tumours and bone disease throughout her body.

Ka’iulani has been fortunate to become the first New Zealand patient to receive one of the few remaining international places on a US immunotherapy drug trial, but for the wrong reason, her cancer is not responding to chemotherapy. The immunotherapy has promising and proven results and she has begun an intensive treatment regime that will continue for the next 12 months provided she can safely comply with the strict trial protocols.

Treatment plans for complex cancers evolve continually and the immunotherapy forms only one aspect; the secondary tumours and bone disease will require therapies not available in NZ. Starship doctors have advised that at the conclusion of the drug trial Ka’iulani will require treatment only available overseas to further remove the cancer and prevent relapse, removing the remaining tumour from her spine. They are currently consulting with doctors in New York, who are reviewing her scans, to develop the best approach.

Regardless of the final plan they develop, Ka’iulani and her whanau will need to travel overseas for treatment. We are raising funds to enable that to happen and give Ka’iulani the best fighting chance. All funds raised are being held in a separate bank account so that they are prepared when the time comes to proceed with the next phase.

Thank you for supporting Ka’iulani Forbes.

Diagnosis

Ka'iulani's diagnosis was very late into her illness and as a result the cancer has grown and spread throughout her body. There is a very large tumour that is wrapped around her spine and multiple small tumours in her face. As a result of this she has experience severe pain all her life and bone deterioration.

The first person to suspect that Ka'iulani may be suffering from a serious illness was an eye specialist who was asked to look at the black eyes and swelling around her eyes that Ka'iulani was experiencing. He found that her skull was not developing properly and immediately referred her to Starship Children's Hospital in Auckland. After two non-invasive tests Ka'iulani was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma.

This was a shock to her parents and whanau, who had up to this point been told that she did not have cancer.

Support

The treatment that Ka'iulani needs has the potential to cost millions of dollars. Her family are reaching out to the world to ask for help in giving their girl the best available care. Many people have come forward to offer their support.

If you would like to offer your support please check out our support page to see how everyone is helping.