Family "blown away" by community supporting for five year old Chloe treated for rare brain tumour
A community’s “overwhelming support” for a ‘brave’ five year old girl who has endured years of treatment for a rare brain cancer has been praised by her mum.
Theresa Cotterell, of Park Street, Kirkby in Ashfield, says she has been “blown away” by the “kindness and generosity” of people after her daughter Chloe Rose Askew received an avalanche of money, gifts and and special treats during a fundraiser.
The English Rose Estate Agents in the town had organised the event after company director Julie Cotterill heard of little Chloe’s plight and wanted to do something to help.
Chloe was diagnosed at the age of two and half with a rare brain tumour called a “ependymoma.”
Her mum Theresa, who is 39, said: “At the age of about two and a half, we noticed she was losing her balance, her head was slightly stooping to one side and her behaviour was changing, but the worst thing was she had started vomiting during the night time.
"We we were back and forth to the hospitals and seeing doctors, it was horrible, and It took a little while for us to get a diagnosis, and it turned out to be a rare kind of brain tumour. It was devastating to us.”
Chloe was later diagnosed at Kings Mill Hospital, in Mansfield, after an MRI finally revealed she had a brain tumour the size of a tangerine. She was then taken to the Queen’s Medical Centre to have the aggressive cancerous tumour removed.
In her short life, little Chloe has had teams of medics caring for her, and she has endured a range of cancer therapies including radiotherapy and she underwent three months of proton beam therapy, which was then only available at a centre in Jacksonville, Florida, USA.
She has had to cope with having shunts put into her head, to relieve cerebral swelling due to fluid in the brain. Her brain surgery has also left her with an incurable condition called arachnoiditis, which can cause flare ups of pain. The youngster also has scoliosis of the spine and recently had to have a tracheotomy, a medical procedure that involves creating an opening in the neck in order to place a tube into the windpipe. She has lost her ability to walk and talk, and requires a barrage of machines and medical equipment.
During the recent lock down, Chloe spent ten weeks in hospital and was also in intensive care for a month.
Despite all she has been through, according to her mum, Chloe is still very much like any other five year old, and gets on with her life with help from big sister Ellie Mai, 14, brothers Joshua, 11, Jenson, 6, and dad Paul Askew, 40.
It was this determination that caught the attention of English Rose director Julie Cotterill, who spotted Chloe playing, and putting on makeup in a video posted on Facebook.
Julie Cotterill said: “ I saw this little girl on Facebook, she had been through so much, it just got to me. You would think with all this going on she wouldn’t have much fire in her belly, but you would be wrong.
"She can’t speak, walk or hardly hold her head up, yet this little girl was just trying to be a regular five year old and trying to carry on like one. I couldn’t stop thinking about her. I admire people young or old that are going through a tough time yet soldier on remarkably giving it their all and never giving up.
"I had a chat with my business partner Jessica Blacklock and we decided to do something to show the family how much we care. I asked permission from Chloe’s parents and shared the video to our business page, the response was unbelievable with Everyone wanted to help, Kirkby has a brilliant community and I’m so proud to live here.”
People came by the office daily with donations, local businesses including Sweet Kandy donated a raffle prize and money, Create Your Day Bridal shop donated a dress and tiara, Scissors hair salon, gave a pamper day for Chloe, her mum and sister, Through the Looking Glass gave afternoon tea vouchers, CLO pubs donated £250 worth of vouchers for Chloe and her siblings and Kirkby Motors’ Paul Smith took part in a head shave. Princess “Rapunzal” from the Little Princess Parties, also came to sing for Chloe.
A cheque for £725 was presented, but since then almost £1,000 has been donated.
Theresa, who previously worked with autistic children,said “We are just blown away, I mean it has been absolutely amazing and I can’t thank the people of Kirkby in Ashfield enough for all their kindness and support for Chloe, they have been so generous.”
"It seems to me, when you go through the worst of times, you see absolutely see the best in people.”
"Chloe got so many treats, she got to meet a Rapunzal the princess who sang to her, she was given a beautiful princess dress by a wedding company and a tiara, which she wouldn’t take off for three days!
"She was so happy. She has been through so much, and it has been horrible time for her, and us, but the response from the community has been just fantastic, and it has made her and us so happy to know what a wonderful community we live in. Thanks to everyone!”