Published: 00:00, 04 June 2016
| Updated: 10:17, 04 June 2016
A teenager described by her dad as beautiful and creative is raising money for surgery that could save her life, after being diagnosed with an aggressive and rare tumour.
Kelly Turner, 16, was just like any other teenager until she was diagnosed with a desmoplastic small round cell tumour (DSRCT) in October last year.
Since then, the St Edmund’s Catholic School pupil has undergone nine rounds of chemotherapy, lost all her hair, and has recently been told that high risk surgery to remove the tumour is not available to her in the UK.
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Her dad, Martin Turner, of Elms Vale, said: “It’s been devastating, everyone says that but it truly has. She’s 16 years old. She’s been traumatised.”
After chemotherapy, Kelly is feeling much better but without surgery her life expectancy is around two years.
The teenager, who is also a talented artist and loves crochet in her spare time, was diagnosed at William Harvey Hospital in Ashford.
She was then referred to St George’s Hospital in Tooting, London, before receiving treatment at The Royal Marsden in Sutton.
Mr Turner said as the tumours are close to her liver, the hospital and a long list of others they have approached, are not prepared to carry out surgery.
Now the only choice will be to fly out to the US and pay for treatment there.
This means the family is now trying to raise £1 million to cover the cost.
Mr Turner said: “There’s a patient we know of a few years older than Kelly from the UK, who went to America and is recovering at the moment, so we know it’s possible.
“Even if I remortgaged my house it would only just scratch the surface.”
Kelly is the only child to Mr Turner, 61, and mum Linda, 51, and the family are very close with Mr Turner calling his daughter his best friend.
He said: “I just feel numb really. It’s difficult to get on with normal life. Kelly is delightful and wonderful and gorgeous and we love her lots. We’re so proud of her.”
During her chemo, Kelly has been studying English language and literature at home, so she can sit her GCSE exams. This has been funded by St Edmund’s School in Dover, and she hopes to continue the rest of her Year 11 exams next year.
Mr Turner, a semi-retired civil servant, is now appealing for funds and to celebrities to help highlight Kelly’s cause.
The aim will be to raise enough money for surgery at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York.
For more information, or to donate to Kelly, visit crowdfunding.justgiving.com/kelly-turner