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chloes story from her parents.
Chloe, our only child, had just turned 11 when she was diagnosed on 3rd September 2010 with a Diffuse Pontine Glioma, a tumour in her brain stem. The centre of our lives Chloe was a typical 'girlie' girl, her favourite colour was of course pink and she loved anything that sparkled! A keen gymnast she spent hours training with her club Irvine bay Gymnastics. She loved fashion, art, reading, cows and her dog TJ.
We had just returned from our family holiday in Florida when Chloe fell ill. Over a period of just a few weeks she became very sick. Suffering from dizziness, double vision, headaches and vomiting most mornings, we grew increasingly concerned. After several visits to our GP Chloe was referred to Crosshouse Hospital for further investigation. Six weeks after our dream holiday an MRI scan detected a brain tumour.
Chloe had just celebrated her 11th birthday the previous day and had a huge Hawaiian themed birthday party planned for the following day! The party went ahead with Chloe unaware of the diagnosis and was a great success in her eyes. This was the start of ensuring Chloe lived her life to the full.
To be told your child has a 'terminal illness', and that the 'median survival rate is 9 months' is too shocking to take in. From this point on, we only had one goal. To save Chloe. We searched the internet for causes, cures, treatments and had second opinions from the UK and abroad. Tragically, there was absolutely nothing that could be done.
Chloe was immediately started on a multitude of medication including anti-sickness medication as well as steroids to reduce the swelling around the tumour. She then had radiotherapy every day for 6 weeks. Watching her go through the procedure was the worst feeling ever but she didn’t complain once and the staff at the Beatson thought she was amazing.
Having just started primary 7 at Annick Primary School (Irvine) Chloe attended as regularly as she could. She continued to live her life and over the next few months, we had some magical holidays and special days out.
As the disease progressed Chloe had to be prescribed more and more steroids. Her headaches and double vision worsened and she was definitely weaker than she once was. She was also being sick more and more frequently and had little appetite resulting in a lot of weight loss. However she hid it well and was determined not to let her illness hold her back. Chloe always looked fantastic and even managed to participate in activities including kayaking!
Our last holiday in York was fantastic and Chloe was able to walk round the shops and museums as well as survive the York dungeons! Unusually she even developed an appetite and wasn’t sick once the entire week.
Unfortunately the day after we returned home Chloe became very unwell. That night we were admitted to hospital and Chloe had her first seizure. After a series of seizures a further MRI revealed the brain stem glioma was stable however four new tumours believed to be on the meninges (the membranes that cover the brain and spinal cord) were discovered. Sadly these too were inoperable and 3 weeks later, on 16th June 2011 Chloe slipped away.
She died in our arms surrounded by her close family. The battle was never hers to be won and her loss has left behind so much pain. There is a 'Chloe' shaped hole in our hearts that will never be filled, she was and is our everything.
Chloe's positive attitude and graceful acceptance of her illness has touched and inspired many people and as her parents, we are exceptionally proud of her.
Mark & Elaine McNeil
Myself and my friends have decided to climb Ben Nevis in april/may 2014 to raise money for Chloe's Chemoo Cows, a charity which was set up in memory of Chloe McNeil. Chloe was a gorgeous and fun loving little girl who lost her fight against an inoperable and incurable brain tumour in September 2011 aged 11 years.
The funds raised by Chloe's Chemoo Cows help to raise awareness of Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma and to help brighten the lives of other children with cancer.
Chloe's love of all things cow related inspired the charity and they provide each child receiving treatment for cancer with their very own Chemoo Cow soft toy and gift box to help them through their treatment.
The charity provides arts and craft material, DVD players, computer equipment and lots of toys to the Schiehallion Ward at Yorkhill Hospital to help make the childrens stay that little bit easier for them.
I myself have no hill walking or mountain climbing experience but my good friend franky has and i am sure he will make this a great adventure, I am really looking forward to the challenge and hope to raise lots of money in Chloe's memory and for a great charity run by Chloe's parents mark and elaine, they do a great job at helping others through their own heartache.
Please donate all you can,
Thanks Paul Ottaway, Franky Nolan and team.
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