Brave Amelia Saunders is back at home for ChristmasBy Laura Herbert
December 21, 2012
A courageous little girl battling a brain tumour will share a very precious Christmas with her family next week.
Four-year-old Amelia Saunders from Lower Earley was diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumour in February.
She started Crosfields School in Shinfield in September, despite being given just months to live, and last week said a farewell to her school friends after her health deteriorated.
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 and got their wish to be home for Christmas this week.
Yesterday, her father said Amelia did some swimming at Naomi House.
“The very second she hit that water – we got the old Amelia back for a while. It was one of the most beautiful moments we have had for a long time. I think we had about 10 minutes of our little girl, the girl we used to know, swimming and splashing and enjoying her life like she used to,” he said.
He continued: “I just cannot bear the thought of letting her go.
“Soon we have to decide how we choose to say goodbye to our daughter, and how to celebrate her life. It is like we have to stir up the worst fears inside our souls and spit them all out in one go.
“I know we will get through it, but it is going to take a very long time. We must, as always, be strong.
“I know one thing for sure though, that Amelia’s life will be remembered by many thousands of people for a very long time.”
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 was treated at the controversial Burzynski Clinic.
Mr Saunders said: “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.”
Earlier in the week, as the family were preparing to return home from Naomi House on Tuesday, Richard said: “This will be our last Christmas with Amelia. Amelia gets so excited about opening presents, and we will try our hardest to make the time fun and enjoyable for her.
“I know, whenever I see the beautiful things the world has to show me, she will always be looking back at me. The first day I wake up without her here, I know she will have been with me in my dreams, and I will cherish that time with her again. The best times, the most cherished memories, with the innocence and bravery of a little girl who fought so hard.
“Chantal, Charlotte and myself will live our lives as she walks alongside us, always, in our hearts.
“A new star will be born soon, in that moonlit winter’s sky.”