THE parents of Eva Williams have given an insight into the 'horrific therapy' she has to endure as she continues to battle an incurable brain tumour.

Paul and Carran Slapa, of Marford, were dealt another shock this week when they were told their 10-year-old daughter's tumour had shown signs of progression.

It means that she has immediately begun a sequence of ten radiotherapy sessions to get the progression and associated symptoms under control.

Paul and Carran have nothing but praise for the medical team treating Eva, but as parents they are struggling has their daughter undergoes a daily ordeal.

Describing "the reality of radiotherapy" Paul said: "She goes in, lies on a metal “bed”, and is secured down by the mask you see on her there. The mask is tight to her face, so much so that it leaves marks on her. She says she looks like a mermaid when they take it off as the imprint is almost scaly!

"When they are ready to administer the treatment, we have to leave the room. So she is there on her own, aged 10. It’s horrific - but you almost become numb to it as she just gets on with it. Our awesome unbeatable Eva. I cried, she didn’t!

"I just hope with all my heart that this sees her improve again - she has fought so far and I know she will keep fighting."

The Leader:

Eva wearing the special mask needed during the treatment

Talking to the Leader in more detail about Eva's treatment, Paul added: "They have a mask made so the because the radiotherapy is targeted, they don't want it to damage anywhere else, so in order to achieve that they need people to be very still. So have everyone has this mask made, whatever the material is, it's like a plastic material, it goes into warm water and is then placed over the face. That is pretty scary for a child, well for anyone, I don't think I'd fancy it. They wait for until that moulds to the shape of the face, it takes about five minutes, and then they cut eye holes out so it is not over her face completely.

"Then they do various prep work before she goes into the treatment. We can go in with her when she gets on to the bed, it's like a metal board she is lying on, and then the mask is put over her face. That's pressed into the bed, it's clipped in so she can't physically move. Then they do the radiotherapy. It is quite quick, but we are not allowed in there at that point so she is in there on her own. The thing is, it's worse for us as parents. We see Eva cope, she doesn't like it but she just kind of gets on with it, but we not as great."

The Leader:

Eva after the treatment

Paul and Carren say the news of Tuesday was a shock as Eva had been brighter and more like herself.

As things stand, Eva can't travel so it is unlikely that the trial in Zurich that was being considered will not be possible.

This means, the USA is again the most likely destination for treatment, but things are uncertain at the moment.

The Leader:

Paul and Eva at the hospital

Paul said: "We kind of almost at square one in terms of trials.

"Out focus at the moment really is getting Eva through the radiotherapy and hopefully having positive results from that.

"Eva’s scan on Tuesday showed “significant progression” - it was a total hammer blow for us and the sick feeling in the pit of your stomach doesn’t go away. We didn’t expect that news as in the run up to Tuesday, Eva seemed to be brighter and more alert.

"We weren't expecting that. We can't control that. We were considering radiotherapy anyway but that's forced our hand in terms of getting on with it.

"Hopefully we'll see the benefit to the symptoms that have come with the progression so we can get back fighting and we can continue to get to finding something we think is appropriate for the next step of treatment."

The Leader:

Eva with her brothers at Chester Zoo recently

2020 has been an emotional year for Paul and Carran. It was on New Year’s Day that their lives changed forever when Eva, then aged nine, was diagnosed with a rare and incurable brain tumour called DIPG (Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma).

A fundraising campaign was launched to give Eva life-improving treatment in America and, despite the coronavirus pandemic, the target of £250,000 was quickly reached.

But the pandemic also restricted travel and the admission of overseas patients into trials at hospitals.

There was positive news last month when Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the Foreign Office pledged to support Eva and her family if and when they needed to travel for treatment as the Rofft Primary pupil celebrated her tenth birthday with friends and family.

You can support the Unbreatable Eva campaign at