A DEVASTATED single mum has had her life turned upside down when her little girl was diagnosed with cancer on her second birthday.
Hayley Blackwell, 25, is staying at Great Ormond Street Hospital, in London, after doctors discovered daughter Eva had a 13cm-wide tumour in her stomach.
Miss Blackwell, of Basildon, is struggling to cope financially, after she was forced to quit her job as an agency worker at First Data, in Endeavour Drive, Basildon.
Family and friends launched a fundraising campaign to help her keep on top of bills, and a staggering £6,000 has been donated in just four days.
Doctors diagnosed Eva with stage 4 neuroblastoma, meaning the cancer has spread to bones throughout her body.
Her birthday party was cancelled at last minute, and instead family and friends crowded around her hospital bed.
Miss Blackwell, who is separated from Eva’s dad, said: “She’s always been a poorly baby and constantly seemed to have a cold or flu, so I knew something wasn’t right.
“She’s so tiny, but has a bloated tummy because of the tumour.
“Eva is so young she doesn’t really understand what is going on, but she knows she’s not very well and the doctors are going to make her better.
“The support we’ve had is ridiculous. I just can’t believe how quickly the campaign has kicked off.
“I’ve had to quit work so I can be with her all the time, but I’ve still got rent and bills to pay, so Eva has somewhere to live when she’s well enough to come out of hospital.
“I’m just about keeping going at the moment. I can’t let her see me upset.
“She’s so young, I’m trying to turn it into an adventure for her.
She was so excited when she got to go in the ambulance all the way to Great Ormond Street.”
Eva is being prepared to undergo surgery and an intensive course of chemotherapy, which could last up to a year.
The fundraising campaign has a target of £10,000.
When enough money has been raised to help the family keep afloat, cash will be donated to charity Clic, which supports children with cancer.