A Thornton Heath mum is pleading for help to save her three-year-old daughter who is dying from a rare form of cancer.

Serena Souiffi has been suffering from neuroplastoma - a tumour in the adrenal glands - for the past 18 months.

She has spent most of her life in hospital undergoing chemotherapy and radiotherapy, but in January this year her mum Lorraine Dudek, 21, was told her daughter was in remission.

Serena spent the past few weeks at home living like a normal little girl for the first time. But two weeks ago she was readmitted to hospital, where doctors told her the cancer had returned.

Medics say there is no more they can do, except offer treatments that can prolong her life. Her only apparent hope of beating the disease is to undergo revolutionary treatment in America at a cost of £125,000.

If she does not have the treatment she may only have weeks or months to live.

Serena has a tumour in her right thorax, which is putting massive pressure on her lungs and heart. It is now so large it has caused her right lung to collapse.

If her latest bout of chemotherapy shrinks the tumour she will be eligible for MIBG treatment - a type of radiotherapy.

Lorraine, who also has two sons aged one and two, lives with her mum Gillian, her brother Nigel, 27, and her partner, Julian.

She said: "Serena is the oldest of three and is my only little girl. She is the idol of her brothers and I don't know what they would do without her. My brother treats her like his own - they are so close. She is very lively and active and takes everything in her stride.

"She loves to go shopping in Croydon and is so chatty. I would love help getting the money but I realise how much it is so even suggestions would really help. I just want to save my baby girl."

If the family can raise enough money Serena will go to the Mary Sloan Kettering Memorial Centre in New York. There antibodies would be taken from Serena and grown in a laboratory. They would then be put back into her body to fight the cancer cells.

The treatment is being tested in Germany but the only place it is offered as a treatment is in America.

Lorraine added: "We have got to the point where we will try anything. It has been so great since she has been at home - we have been like a normal family and when she fell ill I didn't even think that it could be a relapse, it was a real shock."

Grandmother Gillian Hills, 53, said the news has been devastating and with her daughter Lorraine being so young herself it has been even harder.

She explains: "I think there are treatments that could cure her but they know that most people can't afford them so they don't talk about it because they don't want to upset people.

"Serena is so bubbly, she is the life and soul of the house. I have brought up Serena as my own and she is everything to this family."

  • If you can help Serena, contact Lorraine on 07882 075665.