A day we will never forget.
Eva’s MRI took place, and we were pulled in to a small room with an Oncologist.
Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma. D I P G.
Naively, when you are given a diagnosis of a tumour or a cancer, you assume SOMETHING can be done. Surgery; chemotherapy; something out there can fix the problem. Not that it isn’t awful, but there has to be a solution… right?
DIPG has no option. No surgery due to where the tumour is located. No chemo, because the drugs don’t pass the blood brain barrier (a protective layer of blood cells around the most delicate and important area of the brain, ironically there to stop “bad things” from getting in). Nothing. No options.
“Go home, and make memories”
“less than 12 months”
Imagine hearing those words about YOUR child. That’s the moment that you heart quite literally breaks.
Eva’s dad asked the doctors whether clinical trials or experimental treatments existed, but the only option presented was radiotherapy – something we were told must start as quickly as possible – and that radiotherapy MAY help to stabilise the tumour. It MAY buy some time. No guarantees, but the only option.
The average survival time, post diagnosis, is 9 months.
Eva battled her diagnosis for 12 months and 8 days.
Hero. Inspiration. Brave. These are words which we use far too frequently to describe things these days, however all are appropriate to describe a child, who, despite not knowing what is happening to them, or why they are losing the abilities that they had, continues to battle on. Doesn’t stop trying, doesn’t stop living life.
Eva is our hero. She inspires us every day to continue to fight for a breakthrough in medical research. She is without doubt the bravest person we have ever known.
It is in Eva’s memory, and because she wanted us to help other children with DIPG, that The Unbeatable Eva Foundation exists.
| EVA GRACE WILLIAMS, BORN 21ST JULY, 2010 |
Caring. Funny. The BEST friend. Intelligent. Beautiful.
A daughter; a sister, a granddaughter; a niece; a cousin; a friend.
Eva was a typical 9-year-old girl – in to dolls, loved arts and craft, had just started to get in to reading – she loved the Tom Gates books, as well as David Walliams and Jacqueline Wilson.
Every week, she would go to Stage Coach – singing, dancing and drama. She was a big fan of the dancing in particular, and her confidence was really growing. For Eva, it was probably more about the social side of it – she was going with her friends Phoebe and Seren, and she loved it.
It was in the run up to Christmas when she had been complaining about her vision, although looking back, there were other signs which we hadn’t really picked up on. She was complaining that her vision was blurred or double, and so we organised an appointment at Specsavers on 27th December.
Eva’s mum Carran took her, and her dad Paul took the boys around Broughton Retail Park.
During Eva’s appointment, she wasn’t able to move her eyes to the right – something we hadn’t noticed before. Carran was told that she would be referred to the hospital for further checks, and that it “could be anything”…
She was told “just don’t Google it”
On 31st December, Eva had an appointment at Wrexham Maelor with the Ophthalmologist – we will never forget him choking back tears when he told us that Eva needed to go for a CT scan and that he was requesting it immediately. He had been brilliant with Eva, but it became clear that something was very wrong.
Following a CT Scan, and the statement that there was a ‘mass’ present, we were “blue lighted” over to Alder Hey, and what followed was the longest night of our lives. Eva had been so excited to spend New Years Eve at home – we had invited some of hers and our friends – and she was devastated to be in the hospital. She had no idea what was really happening, and we sat and watched fireworks from her hospital room. We were told that night that it wasn’t good, but that we would need to wait until the following day to know exactly the diagnosis.
JANUARY 1st, 2020