A seven year old girl from Belgrave who is fighting cancer has enjoyed a weekend break at Chessington World of Adventure with an overnight stay at the Gruffalo themed hotel, thanks to fundraising group, Simon’s Heroes.
Tilly Sweet was diagnosed with Medulloblastoma at 22 months old after her mum Louise noticed she was having difficulty with her balance. An MRI scan revealed a golf ball-sized brain tumour on her cerebellum (the part of the brain at the back of the skull).
Medulloblastoma is a type of cancerous brain tumour. It starts in or near to the brain and can spread to other parts of the brain or spinal cord. Symptoms include problems with balance and coordination, vision, headaches and sickness.
Since her diagnosis Tilly has beaten the disease 3 times having undergone multiple surgeries and intensive chemotheraphy and radiotheraphy.
‘We’ve been told 3 times that Tilly is in remission,’ Louise said. ‘Since her last operation she has had 3 MRI scans which have all come back clear, although we are nervous the cancer may return.’
Tilly has poor balance and is blind in her left eye. ‘She had to learn to walk again after her surgery. She has a scan every 3 months to monitor her condition. It’s an appointment we dread.’
Tilly attends St Gabriel’s Primary School in Tamworth where she continues to do well, despite having taken time out for her treatment. Outside of school Tilly enjoys playing in her garden on her swing and trampoline. She is a big fan of The Gruffalo stories and enjoys reading the books and watching the animations.
Tilly and her family enjoyed their stay at Chessington World of Adventure in May where Tilly got to meet the Gruffalo and some of his friends as well as stay over in one of his bedrooms. They also had a ride on the Zufari where they got to see lots of African animals.
‘I loved the Gruffalo river ride with Mouse,’ said Tilly, ’and being in the jeep and seeing the elephants.’
Tilly and her family have been fundraising to help others who have gone through similar situations under the umbrella of Harry Moseley’s cancer charity. Tilly was on the same ward as Harry at Birmingham Children’s hospital. His legacy prompted them to continue to help raise money for his cause, making and selling their own beaded bracelets.
Tilly’s bravery and charitable efforts were recognised at The Spirit of Tamworth Community Awards earlier this year which celebrates members of the community who have made a difference to the lives of others. Tilly scooped 2 awards, Child of the Year and Spirit of Tamworth Champion Child.
‘She has been through such a lot and been very brave and we are so proud of her.’
‘Her weekend treat was perfect. She loved it! It gave her some normality away from hospital visits. Making memories is important to us, each day is so precious. Thank you Simon’s Heroes for giving us another memory to cherish.’ Louise Sweet.
To find out more about Simon’s Heroes and how you can help children like Tilly, visit simonsheroes.org.uk.
Author: C Bull