Born on 7th August 2011, Isla really was the most wonderful little daughter we could have wished for. We were blessed to spend the happiest fifteen months with her before she was taken away from us so quickly and cruelly.
We will always treasure every second that we had with Isla. Over the course of last summer, she was blossoming into a beautiful little girl - with big blue eyes, white blonde locks and an ever-ready, cheeky smile. Learning to walk and talk, Isla had so many ways of keeping us entertained - from hiding in the fireplace to dancing and shaking her head to music, clambering into flowerpots, and constant tickles and handstands. There was never a dull moment!
Isla had always been such a healthy child, but during the three weeks leading up to her admission to Great Ormond Street Hospital we started to notice subtle differences in her behaviour and character, which became increasingly worrying.
On 7th October 2012, within 48 hours of arriving at Great Ormond Street Hospital and after a MRI scan, we were told that Isla had a very aggressive brain tumour. It originated in her brain stem and had spread to her spine. Due to her age and the location of the tumour, it was inoperable and untreatable. The results of the biopsy a few days later confirmed our worst fears: it was a very rare tumour called ETANTR.
Learning the outcome of the biopsy was a very surreal moment and one that will haunt us forever. We took Isla away from Great Ormond Street Hospital to spend her last few days/weeks with us at home, knowing that there was nothing we could do to cure her. It was difficult to imagine that the most precious thing in our lives was going to be taken away from us so early in her life.
A truly brave and inspirational little character, Isla died in our arms, at home, in the early hours of 7th November 2012. The pain we feel as her parents is overwhelming and we miss her so much.
No parent should have to go through what we experienced hence why we have set up the Isla Cecil Brighter Future Fund. We are aiming to raise at least £250,000 this year a minimum amount required to seed the new consortium which is being set up by Isla's Oncologist at Great Ormond Street Hospital, Dr Darren Hargrave, to undertake much needed research for rare childhood brain tumours which includes ETANTR.
The initial fund raising events will take place this summer, namely Isla's Tour 2013, which will see Mikey and 100 domestiques cycling across the country during the final two weeks of July, ending at Windsor Racecourse for a 300 person event.
We hope you will give generously to what we hope you will agree is a fantastic cause to ensure that we exceed our target.
For more information about Isla's Tour and the Fund please visit www.islasbrighterfuture.com