Friday, 3 Feb 2023

One family’s mission to give dying daughter a month to remember

Adele Shows Her Heart of Gold with Sweet Meeting with Ill Child

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Last year Lily Harvey was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer known as ependymomas, a type of cancer that grows on the brain and spinal cord.

Speaking to the Metro, Mr Harley said: “During Christmas 2021, we were with my family and they noticed that Lily was acting differently. Her head was tilted and she was walking strangely. At the time, we thought she’d just slept on her neck funny, but we soon saw that something wasn’t quite right.”

Her parents took her to Grimsby Hospital where they were told it was likely just a sprain in her neck. However, when her condition didn’t improve, she was taken for a CT scan and an MRI.

This was when the tumour was found and Lily was sent to Sheffield Children’s Hospital where she underwent two 10-hour operations to remove the tumour.

Following these surgeries, Lily was, with the consent of her parents, taken to Germany to undergo experimental treatment as part of a clinical trial looking into the cancer.

In Germany, Lily had 32 different treatments in the city of Essen and, at first, it looked like she had beaten the cancer.

However, in October 2022, an MRI scan showed the cancer had returned.

This time there were a number of tumours at the base of her neck, on her chest, and in her brain fluid. This time, the cancer couldn’t be treated, she has just months left to live.

Mr Harvey said: “Josh said: ‘When they told us, Emily and I were devastated. Me being a bloke, it sort of went in one ear and out the other, I was trying to listen to what we were being told. The hardest part of it all has been telling our family though. When you get the news you try to digest it and you can cope with that, but telling everyone was horrible, especially as we thought the MRI would come back clear.”

Completely to the family’s surprise, the page has raised over £42,000, allowing them to take her to Disneyland Paris.

Despite the success of the fund, it cannot take away from the sadness behind the reason for its existence.

Life without one’s child is one of the most unbearable burdens a person can bare. On this, Mr Harvey has said: “It overcomes me sometimes. I’ve spoken to Emily about how we’re going to cope and we’ve already decided we’ll need to move as there will be too many bad memories in here.

“We both said that when she goes there is just no chance we can stay here. We’ve got no other kids which makes the whole thing even more heartbreaking. It will take time to get used to not having her here, especially when I come home from work and she isn’t there waiting for me.

“I’m hoping, as well as giving her the best send off we can, this goes some way to raising awareness about Lily’s cancer and shows how dangerous it is.”

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