Billie fund rises towards target
FUNDRAISING is continuing throughout the city as the fund to help pay for the treatment of four-year-old Billie Bainbridge edges towards its target.
Billie, who is currently in Texas with her parents Terri and Sam, is undergoing pioneering treatment to fight her brain tumour that medical staff in the UK said was untreatable.
To fund the cost of the trip and the treatment, the community has rallied round and in a short space of time has already helped to raise £165,000 of the £200,000 target.
In her latest dispatch from the Burzynski clinic Terri, of St Leonard's, Exeter, said Billie had now been fitted with a pink back pack that carries the pump and her medication.
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She will have to wear it for around 12 months, although she can remove it for three hours between the times when the medication is pumped through.
"It is quite heavy for a four-year-old to carry but with our help she is managing," said Terri.
"Things continue to progress quite well – but with a few issues. Billie is now over half-way to achieving her full target medication.
"However it is making her more and more tired which is causing us a few difficulties with getting her to eat enough.
"She has to be on full dosage before she is allowed to leave the clinic and travel home."
Sam's mum Kath has now flown out with Billie's younger brother Joe to join them.
"He gave Billie a massive hug and a huge kiss which was so sweet," said Terri.
Meanwhile back home the community is continuing to rally round to help the family reach its target.
There are lots of tickets available for a prize draw to win a free full-time place at the Munchkins Day Nursery in St Leonard's, which Billie attended. The offer is for one child from two months old to five years and can be taken up any time up to December 31, 2012. The prize is worth more than £20,000 and draw tickets cost £100. The closing date is October 22.
Caroline Shortt of the fund raising committee, said: "There are lots of tickets left so the odds of winning are excellent."
Premiership rugby team the Exeter Chiefs are also growing sideburns in the hope of raising £2,000.
Tomorrow, Friday, October 14, there is a charity gig for Billie at Thorverton Memorial Hall, between 8pm and 12.30am, and stockbroker Charles Stanley is hosting a Mufti Day.
On Sunday there is a Triathalon organised by David Lloyd Leisure Club, while Elaine Davey will be taking part in a skydive in aid of the appeal.
Two Year 11 St James students, Alice Long and Zoe Gould, have organised a series of events for the fund, which will include cake sales on the next two Fridays. They hope to raise more than £1,000.
Other events coming up in the next few weeks include a festival for Billie at Mama Stones on Sunday, October 23, which will feature live music from 3pm until late.
An internet auction site has also been set up to sell items in aid of the fund. Several donations have been received, including some from celebrities. One of the items is a Radiohead guitar.
Mark Mirko and Neil Tarn have raised over £5,000 for their cycle from Edinburgh to Exeter.
For further details of all events and how to donate visit www.billiebutterflyfund.org