Girl's plight for cancer treatment attracts nat'l attention

An unimaginable diagnosis for a pre-kindergartener— Desirae Cechin is fighting stage four high risk neuroblastoma which is a rare cancer that affects the nervous system.

The disease has spread to her bone marrow, her lymph nodes and areas of her bones. Her tumors have a genetic characteristic known as MYCN amplification.

"High-risk neuroblastoma is the most difficult stage of the disease to treat and requires the use of a combination of treatment approaches, including chemotherapy, radiation, surgery, and immunotherapy. These treatments are conducted in phases and usually take about two years to complete, according to Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

Her mother, Laura Palada, has been working to bring attention to Desi's rare condition through emails and online. Desi's 5th birthday is just days away. She starts another round of chemo June 6.

In the meantime, her family is making a desperate plea to get to see a world-renown pediatric surgeon at Sloan Kettering in New York where they are experienced with a treating neuroblastoma with the 3F8 monoclonal antibody therapy, one of only a few places in the world that offers it. Desi's insurance is considered out-of-network, so the treatment comes with a hefty price tag. According to an email from Palada to friends and family, the treatment at Sloan Kettering costs $250,000.

The other issue: Desi lives in Indio outside Palm Springs, California. Due to the risk to her immune system, she can't take a commercial flight to get the treatment, so her family is trying to find donors or a pilot to step up to help fund a private flight across the country. On Monday, with national attention on her story, donors gave about $23,000, but she still had a long way to go to her goal of $300,000.

You can help by donating to her account:

To show your support, visit Believing for Desi on Facebook:


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