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Girl, 14, becomes 'one of the youngest people in the world' to be diagnosed with an aggressive cancer caused by exposure to asbestos

Daily Mail logo Daily Mail 04/09/2018 Stephen Matthews Assistant Health Editor For Mailonline

© Getty A 14-year-old girl has reportedly become one of the youngest people in the world to be diagnosed with an asbestos-related cancer.

Macie Greening has undergone four rounds of chemotherapy to tackle her rare form of mesothelioma - but to no avail.

Her parents say she is one of only nine cases of her type of peritoneal mesothelioma - most often caused by exposure to asbestos - in children in the UK and 20 in the world. 

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a little girl wearing a hat and smiling at the camera: Macie Greening has undergone four rounds of chemo to treat her rare mesothelioma © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Macie Greening has undergone four rounds of chemo to treat her rare mesothelioma Asbestos.com claims roughly 300 cases of the aggressive cancer have been recorded in young adults, children and even infants.

Doctors reportedly have 'no idea' what caused her cancer, as mesothelioma usually takes decades to appear. However, it can occur in children, in rare cases.

Macie's loved ones are now pinning all their hopes on getting her on a clinical drug trial, to boost her chances of survival.

a person lying on a bed: Macie's loved ones are now pinning all their hopes on getting her on a clinical drug trial, to boost her chances of survival (pictured in hospital) © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Macie's loved ones are now pinning all their hopes on getting her on a clinical drug trial, to boost her chances of survival (pictured in hospital) Close friends and family are hoping to raise £15,000 to allow Macie, who loves being a 'princess', to go on her dream trip to Disney World.

This includes her parents Tracey and Nellie, twin sister Madison and sister, Saskia, 17, who are all from Cullompton in Devon.

Writing on her fundraising page, her family said: 'We are not sure what will happen from here but Macie is such a strong, beautiful young lady.

'She is continuing to make everyone laugh and smile like she usually would.

'She has already been through enough and is taking the whole situation in her stride, a true inspiration to all.' 

Figures show around 2,500 people are diagnosed with mesothelioma each year in the UK. Only 10 per cent start in the peritoneum.

It is usually caused through exposure to asbestos, a group of minerals made of tiny fibres that used to be widely used in construction.

Natalia Oreiro smiling and posing for the camera: Her parents say she is one of only nine cases of her type of peritoneal mesothelioma - caused by exposure to asbestos - in children anywhere in the world (pictured with her mother Tracey) © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Her parents say she is one of only nine cases of her type of peritoneal mesothelioma - caused by exposure to asbestos - in children anywhere in the world (pictured with her mother Tracey)

The microscopic fibres can easily get in the lungs, where they get stuck, damaging them over time. As a result, mesothelioma often starts in the lungs.

Asbestos use was completely banned in 1999 in the UK. But materials containing asbestos can still be found in many older buildings. 

It is unsure how many children get diagnosed with mesothelioma, but figures show none were given the devastating news in the UK between 2013 and 2015.

But Sonia Hurst, Macie's aunt, claims doctors told the family Macie is one of just nine children with peritoneal mesothelioma in the UK and 20 in the world.

Ms Hurst said: 'She’s been through four rounds of chemotherapy and it was hoped she could have surgery but we’ve since learnt that is not an option.

'We’re now waiting for new trials to become available.

a person sitting on a table: Close friends and family are hoping to raise £15,000 to allow Macie, who loves being a 'princess', to go on her dream trip to Disney World (pictured in hospital eating a KFC) © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Close friends and family are hoping to raise £15,000 to allow Macie, who loves being a 'princess', to go on her dream trip to Disney World (pictured in hospital eating a KFC) 'Macie loves being a princess and is obsessed with unicorns so she would love to go to Disney World.

'She’s such an amazing girl and an inspiration to us all. Macie has been so strong through all of this and we so incredibly proud of her.' 

Medics describe peritoneal mesothelioma as a cancer that forms in the tissue lining of the abdomen that is caused by inhaling or swallowing asbestos fibres.

Despite suffering from the asbestos-related cancer, Macie's family don't believe she was exposed to the fibres herself and say doctors are reportedly dumbfounded about how she has caught it.

a person sitting on a bed: Writing on her fundraising page, her family said: 'We are not sure what will happen from here but Macie is such a strong, beautiful young lady' (Macie is pictured in hospital) © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Writing on her fundraising page, her family said: 'We are not sure what will happen from here but Macie is such a strong, beautiful young lady' (Macie is pictured in hospital) Her mother Tracey, 43, said: 'There's only nine in the UK and only about 20 in the whole world, we found it out by googling about her condition looking for treatment.

'They have no idea how she got it, her biopsy is travelling around the world.

'The doctors told us it takes 30 years for asbestos to get into your system so they knew it couldn't be that, she's not old enough. It's a bit of a tricky one.

'There's a new trial drug that she's been approved to start, we're going to see our consultant in Bristol on Thursday to see what it entails.'

Macie was diagnosed with the aggressive cancer, which the NHS admits is 'rarely possible to cure', in March earlier this year.

a woman sitting in a chair: Macie was diagnosed with the aggressive cancer, which the NHS admits is 'rarely possible to cure', in March earlier this year © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Macie was diagnosed with the aggressive cancer, which the NHS admits is 'rarely possible to cure', in March earlier this year A JustGiving page has now been raised in order to send Macie on her dream holiday to Disney World in Orlando, Florida.  

Wristbands with the words ‘Macie’s Army’ are also being sold to help raise money for the teenager, who is 'obsessed with unicorns'. 

On the fundraising page, it was revealed that Macie's consultant decided to stop her chemotherapy because it wasn't working. 

Her family wrote: 'Macie’s consultant was exploring other options that are available to her, surgery being the main one.'

But their hopes were dashed in August when Macie had a laparoscopy to find out that surgery was not an option.

Anyone willing to donate to Macie's cause can do so here

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