A SPICE Girl has stepped in to help a York family who are desperate to get life-saving treatment for their baby girl.

As The Press reported last month, baby Ada was born with a giant cyst occupying a third of her brain and now her parents, Ella Dean and Drew Millard are in a race against time to get treatment for her.

Now York artist Shany Hagan, who has lived in York for more than 20 years, said she will paint a portrait of singer Mel B for her to sign so the couple can auction it off to raise funds.

In addition, Shany says jump jockey, Bob Champion, who won the 1981 Grand National on Aldaniti, and the cast of Emmerdale have also agreed to sign portraits for auction.

York Press: Shany Hagan with Mel B and a previous portrait painted by the artistShany Hagan with Mel B and a previous portrait painted by the artist (Image: Shany Hagan)

Shany, who had eye surgery during the Covid lockdowns and decided to start painting again, despite not picking a paintbrush up for 33 years, said: "I read Ada's story and knew I had to do something to help her and her parents.

"I have worked with Mel B before and when she read the story she said she'd help straight away."

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Ella, said: "What absolute legends for offering this and pulling together for our Ada. We are very humbled.

"I am in my late twenties and loved the Spice Girls when I was little. I had their poster on my wall when I was six so the thought that Mel B might help my daughter is just amazing."

Baby Ada was born in June last year at York Hospital and after she failed to reach milestones in her development, doctors discovered that she has dangerously large and very rare Arachnoid cyst which is filled with spinal fluid and is growing rapidly causing, brain damage, seizures, and blindness.

Ella and Drew, both 28, are trying to cover the costs of what lies ahead for them and their family.

York Press: Ella Dean and baby Ada in hospital Ella Dean and baby Ada in hospital (Image: Ella Dean)

They are due to have a meeting with a neurologist in Leeds on Wednesday (March 8) and Ella, who lives in Acomb along with their older daughter, Lily, six, said they have just returned from London where they have seen a private neurologist to go through Ada's most recent MRI scans. 

She said: "From what we understand so far Ada's surgery is averaged to cost a whopping £38,000 and from the research we have done of average private costs for children's neurosurgery and we are trying to raise a minimum of £20,000 and then we are talking about financing the remainder between me and Drew. 

"Time is of the essence as the cyst is causing a lot of problems, we're seeing regression now rather than progression."

Ada, now eight-months-old, is currently at home and on medication to help fight the regular seizures she has been having. 

York Press: Ada with her dad, DrewAda with her dad, Drew (Image: Ella Dean)

Ella, who works as a barmaid at The Fox pub in Holgate, said people have already been incredibly generous and close to £10,000 has been raised on a justgiving page set up by Ella's friend, Charlie Mandley.

Charlie said: "These costs are only going to increase if Ada is referred to London to a specialised neurology unit.

"Ella and Drew will also need somewhere stable for both the girls to live whilst reducing the amount of travel and disruption hospital visits will have. They currently live in a flat, and with the rising rent prices in the York area, moving into a more suitable property is proving very difficult. They will need to move into a more suitable environment for Ada that will ensure she can learn to navigate the world safely."

To support the appeal go to: https://gofund.me/bc4d4fb8