Great week for little Amelia Saunders ends in Pride of Reading AwardBy Julie Spencer
November 30, 2012
A little girl battling a brain tumour had a good week after learning her experimental treatment may be working – then winning a Pride of Reading award.
Richard and Chantal Saunders said they were elated but fearful after the latest scans of Amelia’s brain showed cysts were forming inside the tumour.
Mr Saunders said: “We are trying our hardest not to get too excited yet. These cysts are forming inside the tumour but it isn’t shrinking – however this proves the treatment is working.
“Amelia’s tumour is dying, from the inside. We’ll be getting another opinion from here on this, but the scans do back this up. There are cysts forming inside the tumour where cancer cells would have been before.
“For the moment, we seem to be winning our little battle.”
On Friday, the four-year-old was honoured with a Pride of Reading award, organised by The Wokingham Times’ sister paper the Reading Post, recognising her bravery.
Mrs Saunders said: “It has been a very long year and to get recognition in any way is fantastic. We’ve travelled around the world and then had positive news this week.”
Her husband added: “We had a truly amazing day at the Pride of Reading awards and so many people have been so wonderful to us and gone out of their way to make it all brilliant.
“I’ve never felt such a strength of human spirit as I have today, and it is just amazing what has been achieved this year. We really have moved mountains, we have shifted the goalposts and we have bent the rules out of all recognition.”
The couple from Lower Earley launched Amelia’s Miracle Appeal after their daughter was diagnosed with an aggressive brain stem tumour.
They raised £200,000 in 12 weeks to pay for treatment at the Burzynski Clinic in Texas, and travelled to the US in March for the first round of treatment.
In June, scans showed the tumour had not grown and Amelia began school at Crosfields in Reading in September.
Mr Saunders said: “I cannot tell you how we feel. There is a mixture of elation, tears, fear and then the usual helplessness.
“The cysts themselves may kill her. We may never get rid of them. We might be able to drain them under surgery, but this might mean finding a surgeon willing to operate on what is arguably the most difficult part of the human body to operate on.”
Mr Saunders said he would travel to Houston in January after Amelia’s next scan to discuss the development with doctors.