Help family in quest for cure

Living in hope: Five-year-old Sophie Driene with her parents Michelle and Anthony. Picture: Angelic Studio

Living in hope: Five-year-old Sophie Driene with her parents Michelle and Anthony. Picture: Angelic Studio

WITH no treatment available in Australia for five-year-old Sophie, the Driene family is now desperately trying to raise funds to go overseas.

When she was 3½, doctors found a rare and aggressive malignant tumour in Sophie's brain.

The survival rate for children of her age is low.

No health insurance would cover the costs to further Sophie's treatment overseas, which is expected to exceed $200,000.

"So far Sophie has undergone three brain operations, five months of chemotherapy and six weeks of radiation, where she was put on a general anaesthetic five days a week," Sophie's father Anthony Driene said.

"Sophie, her mum and grandma are all in Perth at the moment so Sophie could undergo a trial drug targeted at this type of tumour.

There is no guarantee this will work, but at this stage it is all we have."

Mr Driene said Sophie and her mother Michelle would be in Liverpool for an upcoming fund-raising event and would then head back to Perth for further tests.

"Sophie continues to receive oral chemotherapy. We will not know if this is working for approximately another six weeks when she will undergo her next MRI scan," he said.

"At the moment she is doing really well and you would not know anything is wrong with her."

The family, who live in Brisbane, have a dedicated group of people who run a charity called Sophie's Quest in NSW.

"A fund-raiser has been organised by a few of my friends in Sydney. It is to help raise funds for Sophie's ongoing treatment," Mr Driene said.

"I grew up in Moorebank from the age of five until around 30 and a friend of my friend had connections with the owners of the Roma Lounge in Liverpool.

"There is no target for this event, but with over 300 tickets sold and lots of goods donated for auction we hope to raise around $25,000."

The fund-raiser will be held on Saturday, June 14, at 6pm, at the Roma Lounge in Liverpool.

Details: sophiesquest.com.au.

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