Irish girl battling rare form of cancer in Boston

Alisha Savage is right at home in front of the piano but the three-year-old is thousands of miles from her native Ireland.

Her parents brought her here to Massachusetts in search of the best care for a rare, aggressive form of cancer known as an atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumor, or AT/RT.

Doctors found tumors in Savage’s brain back in 2012, after her mother noticed her head was tilted to one side and she couldn’t straighten it.

Rounds of chemotherapy seemed to be helping, but the girl relapsed last summer.

The family left Ireland two weeks ago because Alisha was the only child in the country being treated for AT/RT.

“They have more kids that have it over here, more tumors to do research on, more kids to look at, more knowledge of it,” said Michelle Long, Alisha’s mother.

The family has found new hope with the doctors at the Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center.

“We’re hoping Alisha will go on to the next step and get rid of these tumors and then going into a next step where we keep them at bay and then one day we can say she’s cured,” said John Savage, Alisha’s father.

The family has no health insurance and is paying for treatments out of pocket.