A schoolgirl with brain cancer who travelled to New York for treatment is celebrating her seventh birthday today.

Edie Jackson from Waltham Abbey was diagnosed an inoperable brain tumour on November 27 last year. The tumour is a high-grade Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Giloma (DIPG), which is known to have an average survival time of eight to 12 months from diagnosis.

Edie has turned seven today (August 10) and is celebrating with her family. Her mum, Lois, said she intends to make Edie's birthday the "best one ever".

She said: "We're trying to stay positive and to focus on Edie's birthday. She has a weekend full of special birthday celebrations and surprises that she truly deserves, including a unicorn pizza party, complete with a real-life unicorn."

Epping Forest Guardian:

Edie and her mum Lois. Credit: Lois Jackson

Earlier this year, before lockdown in the UK, the family temporarily relocated to New York after crowdfunding more than £245,000 to pay for private treatment to extend Edie's life.

Lois added: "Last year, when she turned six, Edie had a go kart party with all her friends.

"Back then she was fit and healthy, happy-go-lucky little girl and we had no idea of the dreadful fate which laid ahead.

"When we think back to Edie doing a lap of honour with all her friends clapping and cheering her name, we could not have ever imagined how much our lives would change."

The money raised was enough to pay for a Convention Enhaned Delivery (CED) trial in New York, where chemotherapy is delivered directly into the tumour.

Epping Forest Guardian:

Edie. Credit: Lois Jackson

Lois added: "Back in March we were all terrified that we would be stuck in New York when the pandemic began to spread, but thankfully we just made it home in time.

"After treatment was tough, however we have seen some slight improvements and, most importantly, she seems happy."

Edie had an MRI scan at Great Ormond Street Hospital on August 5, to check her progress and now the family are waiting for the results. Edie's dad, Craig, will also be running a marathon on September 26.

The charity Brain Tumour Research said it has also been working with Edie's family by sharing her story to raise awareness around the need for funding for brain cancer research. 

The charity said it is now calling on investment to increase number of brain tumour patients gaining access to clinical trials in the UK.

The family has also set up a fundraising page to help them throughout Edie's treatment. For more information go to https://www.gofundme.com/