Anastasia Triantafyllaki, the seven-year-old Greek girl with brain cancer whose story moved the world, will now travel to Houston, Texas with her family in order to receive an experimental, potentially life-saving treatment. Her journey of hope began on Tuesday morning.
The family will make a stop in Amsterdam after leaving Athens, before eventually arriving in Houston, Texas.
Anastasia and her family were able to pay for the trip and for the treatment through the generous donations of thousands of individuals, both in their native city of Kalamata, in the Peloponnese, and around the world.
Two months ago, the young girl was diagnosed with a particularly aggressive form of brain cancer, one which doctors advised was virtually untreatable. Her parents, unwilling to accept this assessment, researched experimental treatments around the world.
They found some treatment options in the United States and Germany, but the estimated cost of the procedures, reaching nearly 700,000 euros ($826,420), made it nearly impossible for Anastasia to receive any of them without a great deal of help.
After her parents reached out to their local community in the Greek city of Kalamata, they were shocked at the outpouring of support, both financially and emotionally, that they received. News about Anastasia’s desperate fight soon spread across the country, and around the world.
Before leaving for the United States, where the family will stay for at least a month while Anastasia receives treatment, her parents expressed their thanks to all who had helped them get there, stating, “We’re ready; we packed for a different kind of trip, one that couldn’t have happened without all your help and support.”
“A seven-year-old girl became everyone’s child, and we’re not alone… I don’t know how to thank you all… I hope one day that I will be able to give back all that has been given to us,” they added.
Anastasia’s journey is continually documented and updated on her family’s Facebook page, where there is also information about how you can help her and her family cover the huge costs of travel and treatment.