Charlie battled cancer almost her entire life. Charlie was initially diagnosed with stage 4 intermediate risk Neuroblastoma on the 6th August 2007 when she was only eight and half months old. Sadly Charlie lost her courageous battle with this relentless, insidious disease on 15th April 2015.
Charlie battled cancer for 7 years and 8 months, enduring 4 separate bouts of treatment, first in 2007, then with each of her 3 relapses in 2011, 2013 and 2014. In total Charlie underwent 30 cycles of intravenous chemotherapy, 2 separate 14 day cycles of radiation therapy, 7 surgeries, 2 stem cell collections, a stem cell transplant and more blood tests, anaesthetics and full body scans than you would even care to count.
Through this entire time, Charlie not once asked why she had to be the little girl with cancer, and while she did complain about having to go to hospital at times, she always took it in her stride. She didn’t like any of the attention that cancer brought her and she truly didn’t understand why people always told her how amazing she was. To Charlie she was just Charlie, a little girl who loved the simple things in life like school, her friends, her pets, horse riding and singing. We tried to make life as normal as possible for Charlie, but it was Charlie’s very resilient and humble nature that allowed us to do this for her.
Whilst Charlie will always be remembered as the brave little girl who endured a long battle with cancer, her presence will forever be felt through the immeasurable imprint she has left on the hearts of her family, friends, local and broader communities, and through the life lessons she has taught so many. Charlie was an amazing, inspiring, courageous and humble little girl who has captured the heart of this community.
We love you Charlie and miss you immensely.
CHARLIE'S LIFE LESSONS
Live life. Be thankful for every day, find a positive in every day and smile and laugh every day despite the difficulties as Charlie could do this even on her worst days:
Do what makes you happy and never be afraid to dream.
Love and cherish your family and dearest friends.
Accept yourself just as you are and be accepting of others as they are.
Love your children deeply, cuddle and kiss them often and tell them you love them often.
Neuroblastoma is a rare cancer, almost exclusively occurring in childhood, most commonly between the ages of 0 and 5 years. About 40 children are diagnosed with this cancer each year in Australia. Neuroblastoma is a solid tumour cancer arising from particular nerve cells which run in a chain-like fashion up the child’s abdomen and chest and into the skull following the line of the spinal cord. The most common site for the tumour to grow is in the abdomen. About 50% start in the adrenal gland above the kidney. Some tumours grow at the back of the chest and occasionally even higher up towards the neck.
Neuroblastoma claims more lives of children under the age of 5 than any other cancer. Over 20 babies and toddlers will die from this disease in Australia this year and a third of the survivors will have long term side effects from their actual treatment. The average survival rate of Neuroblastoma is only 50%.