Charlie’s limitless sense of humour allowed me to laugh, no matter how hard things got.Mel, Charlie's mum
Charlie was just eight months old when her mother noticed a bruise under her right eye.
Hours after Charlie was referred for more tests, their world came crashing down. With each new scan, Mel's anxiety grew. Eventually, the doctors gave her the shocking news.
Charlie had one of the most aggressive forms of childhood cancer. Her little body was riddled with around 25 tumours.
They were in the orbit of her eye, in her liver, arms, legs, pelvis, jaw, cheekbones, even her bone marrow. I remember asking, “Is she going to die?
Charlie went through six cycles of chemotherapy. By the end of six months, it appeared that the treatment was working, but it was not to last.
Most children with aggressive neuroblastoma are given a 50-50 chance of survival. But every child’s cancer is unique. In Charlie’s case, her doctors felt that her chances of survival were more than 80 per cent.
In all, Charlie relapsed three times between July 2011 and July 2014. She endured everything with courage that never failed to astound everyone who met her.
Charlie passes away
As strong and as determined as she was, and despite the best efforts of her medical team, her family, friends and the whole community, this was one battle she couldn’t win. On a Wednesday morning in April last year, Charlie passed away.
Charlie never complained about having cancer, but she wished no child ever had to go through cancer treatment like she did. I’ve promised her I’ll keep fighting to find a cure.