Help 2 year old Esme cure her leukaemia

This is Esme. Esme is 2 years and 7 months old. She loves lions, narwhales and playing hide and seek outside. Right now we have no guarantees she will see her third birthday...

In June 2018 Esme at just 22 months old was diagnosed with high risk acute myeloid leukaemia whilst on holiday.

She spent five months as an in-patient at the Royal Marsden, Sutton and received a stem cell transplant in September after three rounds of intense chemotherapy.

 After six months of steady recovery, in April we heard the news we've dreaded; the leukaemia has returned to Esme's bone marrow.

We have sought the advice of several leading, global consultants that specialise within high risk AML.  They have emphasised heavily that Esme's best chance of cure is a second transplant ASAP. 

We are now fundraising to afford this treatment as in all likelihood it will not be available on the NHS. NHS policy is typically not to offer second transplants to patients who relapse within 12 months, but due to the aggressive nature of her disease, Esme simply may not have that long...

In the US and other private centres, second transplants are offered within one year. For her second transplant the plan would be to use an adult (rather than original umbilical cord) donor and manipulate more 'graft versus host effect' to eradicate the leukaemia - so there is every hope for a permanent cure.

Esme's parents, Will and Rebecca, are desperate to save Esme's life. She is their only child and Rebecca suffered 4 miscarriages (and 3 operations, one which nearly killed her) to bring Esme into the world. Throughout all her treatment Esme has been the epitome of resilience, positivity and cheekiness, and deserves a shot at a permanent cure for life.

Unless you wish to specify a donation is solely made for Esme’s benefit, any monies unspent will be donated to The Children's Cancer and Leukaemia Group. If you make a donation specifically for Esme's benefit and for whatever reason we don't require private funds, we will reimburse via the platform.

To read more of Esme's story, click here. 

For larger fundraising ideas/ enquiries please contact

Please note: we were able to adjust our original target down from £500k to £400k target based on our best and latest understanding of figures shared by the team at the Royal Marsden who on 14th May confirmed that they will allow us to self-fund. 

Please note: upon re-admission to RMH on 20th May our team confirmed that the NHS has turned down their Individual Funding Request (i.e. a request for Esme to be exempted from their policy), meaning that we do indeed have to self-fund Esme’s transplant.

Donations (0)

  • Shelley Jelonek  
    • £20 
    • 3 d
  • Anne Giannaccini 
    • £50 
    • 3 d
  • Jody Hall 
    • £30 
    • 3 d
  • Cynthia Felix 
    • £15 
    • 5 d
  • Jacki Beard 
    • £10 
    • 5 d
See all

Fundraising team: Team Esme (12)

Will Handley 
Raised £58,960 from 632 donations
London, Greater London, United Kingdom
Rebecca Handley 
Team member
Raised £21,734 from 145 donations
Michael Handley 
Team member
Raised £12,806 from 103 donations
Michael Wadsworth 
Team member
Raised £6,503 from 241 donations
Chloe Brown 
Team member
Raised £4,089 from 74 donations
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