Elizabeth and Charlotte's Story

Elizabeth and Charlotte's Story -

Neuroendocrine carcinoma

And breast cancer

Elizabeth was first diagnosed with cancer at the age of three after a growth near her eye turned out to be a rare type of neuroendocrine carcinoma.

After two surgeries failed to prevent it from returning, in 2020, doctors removed Elizabeth’s eye and some of the surrounding tissue. She also received six weeks of proton beam therapy to directly target the cancer cells.

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Her stepdad Matthew said: “When Elizabeth found out she had to have her eye removed, she had a little cry, but then went straight downstairs and got her brothers to help her design eye patches to wear. She was amazing.”

While supporting Elizabeth through her four cancer diagnoses, her mum, Charlotte was diagnosed with breast cancer just weeks after giving birth to her third child, Jack.

She underwent a mastectomy and chemotherapy and was told she was cancer-free. However, as the family headed towards 2022, Charlotte discovered her cancer had returned and had spread to her bones.

Matthew, Charlotte’s husband, said: “Her cancer was aggressive and kept mutating and so it was difficult to find a treatment that could make a difference. Eventually, she was given palliative care and she mustered up all her energy to see her children one last time to say goodbye. Charlie passed away the next day.

“She was heartbroken to have to leave her children because being a mum was what she was put on this earth to do. She was so selfless and compassionate and there was no limit to what she would do for other people, especially for the children Elizabeth, Michael and Jack.

As the family tried to come to terms with Charlotte’s loss, Elizabeth was undergoing tests for pains in her hips. They were initially considered to be growing pains or arthritis, but the day before Charlotte’s funeral, the family was given the devastating news that Elizabeth’s cancer had also returned.

This time, Elizabeth’s cancer was widespread and incurable and due to the rare type of disease she faced, the treatment options were limited. She began chemotherapy but sadly passed away a few weeks later, surrounded by her family.

Matthew said: “Even when Elizabeth knew that she wasn’t going to get better and that she only had a few days left, her first thought was that she wanted to make sure her siblings were alright and that she had to get a birthday present sorted for her dad.

“She was just like her mum, putting others before her, even at the worst moment of her life. The fight was never too much and her ability to accept and process everything that happened to her was inspiring. Elizabeth never allowed her cancer to get in the way of her life.”

Charlotte and Elizabeth, who had won special recognition for their work as media volunteers and fundraisers for Cancer Research UK, both supported Race for Life for several years, raising thousands of pounds towards crucial research. Elizabeth also received the Cancer Research UK for Children & Young People Star Award for her courage after her diagnosis. 

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