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My daughter Milly was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia at the age of 5. After a gruelling 2 and a half years of very intense chemotherapy Milly had won her fight against cancer and was once again able to live her life like any normal child should.
Unfortunately this was very short lived as Milly relapsed 3 months before her tenth birthday almost 2 years to the day of being cancer free.
Milly started an even more intense regime of chemotherapy almost immediately as getting her into remission within the first month was crucial. This did not happen and it was decided that Milly would receive a Stem Cell transplant but only after the 26 week course of Chemotherapy was completed.
Milly was brave she was courageous she was special. Despite being in agonising pain with mouth ulcers and pain rippling though every bone in her body, tiredness beyond compare, needles, drugs, tubes and the rest......she smiled, she laughed she made every one around her happy and gave them the ability to be strong just like her.
She was also very well known for her dirty looks but even those were given with love.
Before we knew it 26 weeks had passed and it was now time to begin transplant preparation which meant Milly had to endure 8 rounds of Total Body Irradiation which she once again coped with beautifully. Chemo had been very intense up until this point but what Milly was about to receive would take it up to the next level..... chemo would being given for 4 consecutive days before transplant with her being monitored by nurses during and after infusions, she was admirable not once did she complain but this was nothing new.
The next few weeks were particularly tough for her but she got through it and we had our first neutrophil on 26 June 2017 this was amazing news and meant that Millys transplant was working.
At the start of Millys treatment she had a Hickman line inserted into the main vein in her Heart for medication to be given more easily.....unbeknown to us this would be the main cause of her deterioration.
Her line became infected and on 25 July it was decided it had to be removed, she became critically ill while she was in theatre. Her body suffered a septic shower meaning whatever bugs caused the infection were now in her blood stream.
Millys heart deteriorated firstly and almost 2 weeks later she was transferred to the PICU where one by one all her vital organs started to fail.
Her team of Consultants and nurses literally did everything and tried everything they could think of. She was put on ECMO which is a heart and lung by pass machine which would give her heart and lungs time to rest with the hope that time could be bought to figure out what was causing them to fail, she was given all the antibiotics available; medication from America was sent over to try and cure her but unfortunately this wasn't to be.
The days were very long and with each day that passed hope faded and fear began to take over.
30 August 2017 is a day I will never forget for as long as I live.
Milly suffered a large bleed in the brain and we were told there was nothing more that could be done....her machines would have to be turned off..... Milly passed away peacefully in the early hours of the morning on 31 August 2017 with her family all around her.
Now if you could imagine just slightly:
Firstly your child going through any of the above and believe me that is just touching the surface....
Then try to imagine not being able to protect your child from any of it and putting all of your trust in the doctors and nurses.....
I now bring you to the reason for raising money in Millys memory for this truly amazing unit within the childrens hospital in Glasgow: The schiehallion Ward (2a).
I had to put my trust in them....each and every one of them and I am so glad I did as they all gave Milly that fighting chance, I am in no doubt that they did absolutely everything they could for her and without these vital funds being raised they would not be able to provide that level of care to every child and their families that walk through those doors.
So I beg you please donate to this cause, as you never expect Childhood Cancer to affect your family.
In Memory of Milly Main 15/03/2007-31/08/2017
The brightest star in the sky
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