The cast and crew of the soon-to-be-released "Sex And The City 2" movie are joining other celebrities to hold a benefit next week to help a costumer's nine-month-old daughter fight a rare kind of cancer. NY1's Cheryl Wills filed the following report.
"Minty Python" of Williamsburg, Brooklyn is a nine-month-old girl who loves to eat, but even though her life has only just begun, she is fighting a tough battle. At a tender young age, she is suffering from childhood brain tumors.
"She was diagnosed with anaplastic ependymoma when she was six weeks old back in august of 2009," says Mei-Lai Hippisley-Coxe, Minty's mother.
The baby endured four surgeries over an 11-day stretch to try and remove the cancer. Since then, Hippisley-Coxe and the rest of her family watched Minty go through six rounds of high-dose chemotherapy.
"The doses are very high and quite toxic in adults, but they seem to think that children and babies can handle higher doses of chemo. So the hope was that would work for Minty, but we did five or six rounds and then an MRI showed several tumors had grown," says Hippisley-Coxe.
Now, the nine-month-old infant has just started a new experimental protocol to starve the tumors. Hippisley-Coxe has put off her glamorous career in the wardrobe department for television shows and films such as "Sex And The City 2" to care for her daughter.
Hippisley-Coxe's union insurance covers all of Minty's treatments, but at the end of the year her insurance will run out.
For that reason, some friends from the movie and television industries have stepped in to do what they could to help Minty and other children in similar situations. Actors like Naomi Watts, Ted Danson, Tina Fey and Rachel Weisz are participating at the Minty Python Benefit on May 1. The star-studded benefit, which promises to be an intimate affair, will raise money for Minty's family and two organizations that came to the family's aid.
The Friends Of Karen organization helps families of sick children make ends meet and Making Headway organizes programs to keep child patients' spirits up and raises money for research.
"The kindness of strangers has just been so touching and incredible," says Hippisley-Coxe.
To buy tickets for the benefit, donate to the cause or learn about Friends of Karen and Making Headway, visit www.mintypython.com.