"Little angel" loses cancer fight
9:27am 25th June 2013
(Updated 9:27am 25th June 2013)
A Knaresborough toddler suffering from a rare childhood cancer has lost her brave battle with the disease.
2-year-old Sadie Rose Clifford died on Monday 25 June.
Her mum Katie said on Facebook: "At 5.15pm this afternoon Sadie fell asleep forever, peacefully and whilst mummy was reading her favourite book. TWINKLE TWINKLE LITTLE STAR, HOW I WONDER WHAT YOU ARE! THERE'S SO MUCH MORE I'D LIKE TO SAY.........MAYBE WE'LL TALK ANOTHER DAY xxxxxxxx"
Sadie was diagnosed with neuroblastoma in October 2010, aged just 14 months old.
She underwent chemotherapy and then had major surgery in February 2011 to remove a tumour above her left kidney.
In March 2011, she started an intensive course of high-dose chemotherapy in preparation for a stem cell transplant.
However, Sadie developed a potentially life-threatening liver condition called veno-occlusive disease as a side effect.
She eventually pulled through and was discharged after spending eight weeks in Leeds General Infirmary.
Following radiotherapy and immunotherapy, the youngster suffered a seizure in July 2011 and neurosurgeons discovered that she had a tumour on her brain which was cancerous.
Despite undergoing more chemotherapy, tests revealed that the tumour had grown again.
It was then decided that Sadie needed life-saving treatment in America, at a cost of £500,000.
Her parents Darren and Katie, along with hundreds of people in the local community, immediately started raising the money required.
In January 2012, the family travelled to New York and Sadie started treatment at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.
She then suffered a major setback, with a scan revealing that tumours had appeared in her chest and liver.
After having chemotherapy, Sadie was allowed to come home and undergo further treatment at Leeds General Infirmary.
Following more tests, Darren and Katie were told that the neuroblastoma had become too widespread and that their daughter's treatment could no longer continue.
Since news of Sadie's death was announced, hundreds of people have been paying tribute to a "little angel".
Her grandad Graham Gotts said in an e-mail to Stray FM: "Sadie Rose was the most amazing, bravest little girl who melted the hearts of everyone she came into contact with. Sadie would smile every day no matter what pain she was in. It was Sadie's strength that kept the whole family fighting this cancer with her for so long to the end.
"Sadie made people laugh, and when Grandad Graham walked into the room she would meet him with a hi five and then rest her small hand on Grandad's so that he could see her beautifull painted nails. Now Sadie has gone to heaven where she can look after Grandad Colin and make him smile, and PARTY with Aunty Ally. Big thank you to everyone for your kind messages. Katie, Darren and all the family are getting great comfort from this, knowing how many people loved our princess."
A special Facebook page has been set up, encouraging everyone to light a candle for her at 8pm on Tuesday 26 June.
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