Newcastle Central MP Chi Onwurah has written to the Home office, calling for them to urgently process the citizenship application of a Newcastle mother seeking life prolonging treatment for her daughter in Switzerland.
Seven-year-old Lily Jha suffers from a rare brain cancer called DIPG and needs to travel for treatment that isn’t currently available in the UK. Both Lily and her father are British citizens, but her mother needs a British passport in order to travel to Switzerland and secure the urgent treatment that Lily needs.
In July, the Prime Minister was asked about a similar family in Wales, with a child suffering from DIPG. He replied stating that he would do all he could to enable the family to travel abroad and gain access to the treatment that they need.
Chi said “Lily’s story is absolutely heart-breaking. She is such a lovely little girl, and her family are suffering so much. Lily urgently requires treatment which just isn’t available in the UK, and she needs to have her Mum with her! We have seen other families receive the support of the Government in getting them to Switzerland. The Home Office must extend that same support to Lily and her family and act urgently to process her mother’s application.”
Chi is also working to address the lack of research into this very rare childhood disease.
Lily’s mother is currently managing the #LightsForLily campaign and a Go Fund Me page to fundraise for Lily’s treatment.
Notes for editors
#LightsForLily justgiving fundraiser page – https://www.gofundme.com/f/LforL
Hansard of the Prime Minister promising support for another family: https://hansard.parliament.uk/Commons/2020-07-15/debates/8EB241F4-52D1-4AAD-9A64-D1D544FEE903/Engagements#contribution-044B9D28-A225-4828-A0F6-2E3CE8829599
Chi’s Letter to the Home Office