Girl with leukaemia – level 3

11-11-2015 07:00

Layla Richards has spent the first year of her life fighting leukaemia, but after chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant failed, specialists at Great Ormond Street Hospital said they’d run out of options. Her parents refused to give up and Layla became the first person in the world to try an experimental new treatment.

“We didn’t see it as a tough decision. We saw it as the only decision. There was no other option. We didn’t agree with going home to do nothing. We wanted to try it. We didn’t want no what-ifs. We wanted to know we’ve tried everything for her.”

This designer cell treatment works by taking healthy donor cells and adding cancerous killing genes. To stop Layla’s body attacking these genes, scientists remove DNA to make them invisible to her immune system. The treatment can then attack the leukaemia. Only one millilitre of this was injected into her body and the cancer appears to have been beaten.

The pioneering treatment given to Layla was so new it’d only ever been tested in the lab, but now it has to undergo full clinical trials to ensure it’s suitable for wider patient use. It’s not often treatments like this work first time and doctors say Layla’s success is a big breakthrough.

“It’s not just leukaemias – maybe eventually, different sorts of cancers can be targeted in this way, but it does mean we have a new weapon, and it does mean therefore  that children like Layla who really are up against it now have something that we can do.”

And like Layla, many others may be able to fight back against one of the most common childhood cancers.

“She’s energetic, keeps us up late at night and gets us up early in the morning. And yeah, Layla is just magic…”

Difficult words: bone marrow (the material in the middle of some bones), what-if (when you wonder how something could happen), designer (a rare and new thing), pioneering (involving new methods), sort (a type).


What do you think about this news about this girl?


News in Levels is designed to teach you 3000 words in English. Please follow the instructions

How to improve your English with News in Levels: 


  1. Do the test at Test Languages.
  2. Go to your level. Go to Level 1 if you know 1-1000 words. Go to Level 2 if you know 1000-2000 words. Go to Level 3 if you know 2000-3000 words.


  1. Read two news articles every day.
  2. Read the news articles from the day before and check if you remember all new words.


  1. Listen to the news from today and read the text at the same time.
  2. Listen to the news from today without reading the text.


  1. Answer the question under today’s news and write the answer in the comments.


  1. Choose one person from the Skype section.
  2. Talk with this person. You can answer questions from Speak in Levels.


Stock images by Depositphotos