Barnham mum hopes to make Disneyland dream come true for eight-year-old after brain tumour diagnosis
The mother of a Barnham eight-year-old, who was diagnosed with a brain tumour last month, is hoping to make her dreams come true by taking her to Disneyland Paris next year.
Bianca Gregory, 28, said it would ‘mean everything’ to be able to take Scarlett on holiday after the difficult time they have had.
Their nightmare began in mid-May, when Scarlett fell ill with what they initially thought was a tummy bug.
Within hours, she became critically unwell and was rushed to A&E for scan.
She was transported to Southampton hospital for emergency brain surgery and diagnosed with a brain tumour, which is believed to be benign but cannot be surgically removed.
Bianca said the doctors, nurses and surgeous were ‘absolutely wonderful’.
“They took such good care of her,” she said. “She looked so relaxed and peaceful, that was the only thing I had keeping me going through it.”
At the moment Scarlett is recovering well, but Bianca said: “She’s got a long road ahead of her.”
Scarlett is due to begin chemotherapy within two months to try and shrink the tumour and has been allowed home in the meantime.
Bianca said: “She’s handled it really well. It’s making it easier to smile through it, rather than cry.
“She’s a fan of TikTok, so she’s been doing lots of TikTok videos which is lovely.”
Adapting to their new circumstances has not been easy, particularly because the lockdown has meant no one has been able to visit.
Scarlett has also had to shield at home, meaning they were ‘quite limited’ in what they could do.
Bianca has had to stop working as a care worker in order to look after Scarlett and her three-year-old sister Gracie.
“It’s round the clock care,” she said. “It’s really hard to juggle with an eight-year-old and a three-year-old.”
Scarlett is having regular check ups from visiting nurses, but Bianca said she was ‘constantly on edge’ with fear that her condition could worsen.
She said: “As a parent, you feel completely useless. You can’t take it away, you can’t do anything really.”
Ahead of Scarlett starting chemotherapy, Bianca is busy working on creating a peaceful area in the garden for her decorated with garlands and lights, a therapeutic space where she can go and relax.
“I’m trying to make it as nice as I can for her,” she said.
A neighbour has started up a fundraising page to help support the family during this time.
The money will be used to help cover hospital transport costs and bills, and Bianca said any money left over would be put towards taking Scarlett on holiday once her treatment is over.
She said the thought of a trip to Disneyland would give her something to concentrate on over the coming months.
“I’m just trying to make Scarlett’s wishes come true for her,” she said. “It’s something she’s wanted to do for years.
“She deserves it, she’s so brave. She’s the kindest little girl ever.
“It will be a really nice memory for her.”
A family friend, Enrico Marcangelo from Littlehampton, added: “Scarlett is an inspirational young lady, she has taken this all in her stride and still manages to smile.”
To donate the fundraiser, click here.
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