‘Amelia’s shown the world you should never give up’By Laura Herbert
December 19, 2012
A courageous little girl battling a brain tumour said goodbye to classmates as she attended school for the last time on Friday.
Four-year-old Amelia Saunders started Crosfields School in Reading in September, despite being given just months to live after she was diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumour in February.
She said a farewell to her school friends last week after her health deteriorated and she is now immobile and barely able to speak.
Her dad Richard said: “Amelia will not know, but there will be an empty chair at her table next term. Pictures on the wall, her paintings, things she has made. Ghosts of good times past.”
Amelia, her parents Chantal and Richard and sister Charlotte visited Naomi House Children’s Hospice at the weekend to spend some time together as a family but hope to be home for Christmas.
On Sunday Mr Saunders, of Lower Earley, added: “The good news – the first we have had for many weeks – is that it looks like we might have a little time.
“The doctor thinks it would be unusual for Amelia not to stabilise at this point, before the final progression of the tumour in her brain. We don’t know how long, but they are trying to get us home for Christmas.
“We can then return to the hospice after Christmas when we need to.”
He added: “I wanted to say one last thing. Chan and I have fought so, so hard this year to make that miracle happen. We are tired, the most tired we will ever be. But understand that we will never feel like we didn’t try enough, or that we did the wrong thing.
“There is no wrong thing with this. We know what is coming. We are both trying to come to terms with what is happening.”
The Saunders family launched the Amelia’s Miracle Appeal and raised more than £200,000 in just 12 weeks to take Amelia to Texas, where she underwent treatment at the controversial Burzynski Clinic.
Mr Saunders added: “Our lives will never be the same again. But one thing we do know is that our daughter was born for a reason.
“The eyes of so many people round the world are watching right now. Amelia was born so the world could see there are things that human beings cannot fix, things that cannot be cured yet.
“She was born so people could be made aware that brain tumours kill more children than any other cancer, and yet they are one of the least funded for research.
“She was born to show the world that, no matter what the odds, you should never, ever give up.
“I am, for these reasons, the proudest man alive. No question, and I will always remain so in my mind.”