Heartbreak of brother as he's told brave gift to cancer-stricken sister, 7, can't save her.

For almost three years little Ebonie has known little apart from hospital wards and gruelling cancer treatment. The seven-year-old from Crawley, in West Sussex, is battling an incredibly rare form of leukaemia and her devastated family are trying to come to terms with her not having many months left. Little Ebonie has been forced to endure treatment every day, trapped in an isolation room, quietly playing on her iPad.Ever by her side, mum Christine Jenkins and dad Ben Musselwhite, look on as their poorly daughter plays with their eyes filled with both fear and pride. But despite receiving treatment daily since she was just four, Ebonie makes sure she gives everyone around her a cute and cheeky smile.
Ebonie was diagnosed in February 2016 with Philadelphia chromosome-positive acute lymphoblastic leukaemia. Since then she has been treated for 18 months with an intense course of chemotherapy. But doctors realised the only thing that could save the little girl's life was a bone marrow transplant. By October 2017, the family pulled together and Ebonie’s siblings Ayla, 11. Willow, nine and five-year-old Ronnie were all tested to see if their bone marrow was a match to Ebonie. And Ronnie, then aged just four, was a perfect match for his big sister. the brave boy told his mum: "I want to help my sister."It was a terrible decision for Christine and Ben but they knew their only chance of saving their daughter was to put both children under anaesthesia. Ronnie's bone marrow cells were extracted and transplanted into Ebonie. Christine said: "That day was a blur. My two older children came to visit Ebonie as they wouldn’t be able to see her for four weeks in isolation.
"I felt very emotional, the enormity of what that day meant overwhelmed me but as always, I just got on with what had to be done for my children.""I watched the man walking through the ward holding a white cool bag labelled stem cells, knowing that they were for my baby."Both operations were a success and for the first time in a long time, the family began to hope. But despite little Ronnie's immense courage just five weeks after the surgery Ebonie relapsed from the bone marrow transplant in May 2018. With severe swelling stopping her from talking or swallowing, she was later referred to Great Ormond Street Hospital for what would be a rare treatment mainly used in America, CART therapy. Cells are taken from the body and given a virus as a booster before these boosted cells are put back into the body five weeks later. But for Ebonie, despite the CART therapy, the disease came back.
In December last year, the family were finally told that it palliative care is the only treatment option left for their little girl to ease her way of life. But they still hope for a miracle. Now Ebonie is taking medicine called Dasatinib, developed specifically for the Philadelphia chromosome, which targets the chromosome and also penetrates the central nervous system. The only way the family can get this medicine is to pay for it, it costs £2,450 a month. But knowing they have limited time, Ebonie's mum and dad and siblings make the most of every day with their precious little girl, managing her pain with patches. Last week, the family were granted a wish by a charitable foundation.They were able to visit Disneyland Paris as a family and make precious memories with little Ebonie. But her mum hasn't given up the fight for a cure for her daughter. Christine said: "We’ve heard about another drug called Nilotinib and we are trying to get the medication on compassionate grounds through a medical company and we are fundraising constantly for money to go towards Ebonie’s daily needs and the medication that we pay for."The love and support that we have had have been overwhelming and we’ll never stop hoping and trying."I’m so proud of my babies. Not just Ebonie, and Ronnie for what they have been through and done – but my two big girls too for coping with everything that we are all going through – and still have to come. They are all amazing."