Bake Off's Nadiya Hussain helps Milton Keynes girl, 6, in her battle against aggressive cancer

The star helped raise £42,000 within hours on her social media

By Sally Murrer
Wednesday, 5th January 2022, 5:34 pm

Former Bake Off star Nadiya Hussain has helped make a dream come true for the family of a little girl battling Stage 4 cancer.

The celebrity, who lives in MK with her husband and children, posted the touching story of six-year-old Poppy Bailey on her Instagram and Facebook accounts and urged people to donate to her family's fundraising appeal.

They are trying to raise £250,000 to pay for cutting-edge treatment in America that could save Poppy's life.

Poppy Bailey

In less than 24 hours, Nadiya's plea boosted the appeal by a massive £42,000. This brings the total to more than £222,000 - just £30,000 away from the target.

"On top of this, Nadiya has just followed up on her Instagram stories with a video to urge her fans to try and get us all the way. The family is just overwhelmed and we're all so grateful," said a spokesman for Poppy's family.

Nadiya described how the little girl, who lives in Lavendon, was diagnosed with high-risk Stage 4 Neuroblastoma just before her fifth birthday.

.A large tumour at the back of her chest cavity had wrapped around her heart, pushing against one of her lungs, and the cancer cells had spread all over her body. Doctor gave her a 40 to 50 per cent chance of long-term survival.

Poppy's chemo gives her nasty side effects

Nadiya put Poppy photograph on her social media and wrote: "A lovely little girl from Milton Keynes... Poppy's cancer is stage 4 Neuroblastoma, which is a rare and very aggressive childhood cancer. Poppy has had 13 rounds of chemotherapy already, but sadly it has not been effective on her.

"She is now undergoing immunotherapy instead, but her parents have been told that the best option available to her is cutting-edge treatment in the US. The cost will be £200,000 for the treatment itself, but they have been told to aim to raise £250,000 as this would cover accommodation, flights etc.

"Friends and family have been fundraising for about 12 weeks by putting on local events, and have managed to get to £80,000 through the incredible generosity of local people in Milton Keynes who have attended them but obviously further funds are needed."

Poppy's family have said a big thank you to Nadiya and all who donated to the appeal. Meanwhile, for the first time, they've had some good news about the little girl's progress.

Nadiya Hussain

"The immunotherapy trial she was on for most of last year (as chemo hadn't cleared the cancer) managed to get her cancer down from 33 spots to three in late November, which was the first piece of good news about her condition for some time," said the family spokesman.

"This then meant she could undergo surgery just before Christmas to remove the main tumour from around her heart and lung. This was very successful with surgeons removing 99% during the six hour operation.

Poppy is currently in Great Ormond Street hospital in isolation for six weeks of high dose chemotherapy.

"It is brutal and the poor thing has started developing some nasty side effects but she remains incredibly resilient," said the spokesman.