Six-year-old Elsa McBurney was taken to A&E last week complaining of a sore back and the family were left devastated when they were told she has cancer of the spine.
The Abercorn Primary pupil, who is set to turn seven in March, now faces a long battle that includes chemotherapy, radiotherapy and spinal surgeries.
A go-fundme page was set up on Sunday evening and by Monday morning the total had already passed £5,000, with nearly 200 donations.
The money raised will go towards the vast expenditure that will be needed to turn Elsa’s house into a sterile environment following treatments and the high possibility of a trip to England for surgery.
A family spokesperson said: “This time last week Elsa was her usual smiling, cheeky, happy self; running around the beach and arcades in Newcastle, playing with her family and enjoying her life.
“Today she is fighting the hardest battle anyone can fight in her “new bedroom” at the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children.
“Despite not eating, being sleep deprived and constantly being injected with medication and subjected to uncomfortable and painful procedures, Elsa is unwavering in her bravery and has been keeping spirits high among the entire family by constantly smiling and joking through this tough time.
“The bravery this little lady has displayed so far in dealing with her “bad lump” is inspiring.
“Very recently we have been informed, in no uncertain terms, that Elsa will be in for a horrendously tough battle in the upcoming months.”
“This battle includes Chemotherapy, Radiotherapy, spinal surgeries and all of the associated tests and procedures which come with these exhausting treatments.
“We have also been told that due to the severity of these treatments, little Elsa’s immune system won’t be functioning as it should be for the foreseeable future, which leads me to our GoFundMe page.
“As some of you may unfortunately be aware of, the hidden costs associated with a sick relative are vast. Elsa’s consultant has mentioned that in order for Elsa to return home after her extensive treatments, she must return to a completely sterile environment.
“For this to occur her home will require new carpets, new curtains, special cleaning equipment, wallpaper, a new bed, mattress, pillows, clothes, amongst others. Combine this with the high possibility of a trip to England for surgery in the not so distant future and the costs associated with flights, accommodation and sterile transport. It is easy to see why we are asking for any help we can get.”
They added: “Elsa is a massively popular child and part of a large, close family. She is a friend, niece, daughter, sister and granddaughter and this horrendous news has devastated anyone who has had the pleasure of meeting her.
“We just want for her to keep smiling and to get better as soon as possible so that we can look back on this in the years to come as a terrible memory.”
To donate please visit the fund-raising page by clicking here.