GRIEVING relatives have paid heartbreaking tributes to a two-year-old cancer victim who lost her fight against the disease only months after flying to America for pioneering treatment.
Sadie Rose Clifford, from Knaresborough in North Yorkshire, died on Monday as her mother, Katie, was reading her a children’s story.
Her death came only 10 days after her family had been told nothing more could be done in her battle against the aggressive childhood cancer, neuroblastoma.
Her mother, Katie Clifford, posted a message on Facebook which said: “At 5.15pm this afternoon (Monday) Sadie fell asleep forever, peacefully and whilst mummy was reading her favourite book.
“Twinkle, twinkle little star, how I wonder what you are! There’s so much more I’d like to say, maybe we’ll talk another day xxxx.”
Sadie, who was diagnosed with neuroblastoma in October 2010, flew to America in January for treatment, but returned to the UK after suffering a relapse. More than £400,000 was collected by fundraisers, although nearly half was spent on the trip to New York and the emergency treatment Sadie received there.
Her grandfather, Graham Gotts, from Knaresborough, said: “We are absolutely devastated by Sadie’s death. She was such a brave, happy, beautiful little girl who touched the hearts of everyone she met. The family are so grateful for all the support from thousands of people who have supported Sadie and tried to help us beat this cruel disease.
“Since yesterday we have been hugely comforted by the hundreds of messages we have received, through Facebook in particular, and would like to thank everyone who has wished Sadie well.”
Sadie’s plight attracted support from famous names – including footballer Peter Crouch and his wife, Abbey Clancy, who both backed the fundraising campaign.
The Stoke City striker and his wife donated £5,000 themselves and pledged to help with fundraising after Mrs Clifford got in touch with Ms Clancy om Twitter.
Sadie’s family have pledged to use money raised to help other children suffering from cancer. – and donations can still be made using the Sadie Rose’s Appeal page on www.justgiving.com.