Girl, 7, 'watches parents deteriorate' from horrific illnesses just years apart

·2-min read

The community of Wollongong is rallying around a young girl after she lost both of her parents to horrific illnesses just years apart.

Keira, seven, was just three when her dad, Andrew, died in 2018 after battling Motor Neurone Disease for some time, family friend Jackie Easther told Yahoo News Australia.

Last week, the “remarkable little girl” lost her mum, Kelly, 39, to an aggressive form of lymphoma cancer.

Kelly was diagnosed just over a year ago after she began losing weight and spotting bruises that wouldn’t go away, Ms Easther, whose daughter is best friends with Keira, said.

Keira and her mum, Kelly. Source: Supplied
Keira and her mum, Kelly, who died last week from cancer. Source: Supplied

“Kelly was amazing — she was the most positive, outgoing, caring and generous person,” she said.

Ms Easther said the mum loved adventure and went out of her way to drop off home cooked treats to people during the Covid lockdown, despite being quite ill.

Kelly took cancer in her stride and pushed her specialists to try every treatment possible.

“I think it inspired them to keep fighting for her,” Ms Easther said.

Despite putting up a hell of a fight, the 39-year-old was admitted to hospital on October 4 and died that night, the family friend said.

Keira is now living with her grandmother, who will raise her.

Keira with Kelly and her dad, Andrew, who died in 2018. Source: Supplied
Keira, seven, was just three when her dad, Andrew, died in 2018 after battling Motor Neurone Disease. Source: Supplied

“She’s spent most of her life now watching both of her parents deteriorate and then lose their lives,” Ms Easther said.

“To do that twice is unthinkable.”

Keira, who has her mum’s “spark for life”, is “keeping all of the grown ups around her going at the moment,” Ms Easther said, adding that the seven-year-old is “happy for her mum not to be sick anymore and to be reunited with her dad”.

The community is now rallying around Keira to make sure she and her grandmother are well supported.

Keira and Kelly. Source: Supplied
Keira will now be raised by her grandmother. Source: Supplied

Ms Easther has started a GoFundMe to help her grandmother provide for the “bubbly and bright” girl’s future.

“As a community, I know a lot of people have been through a lot over the last couple of years,” she said, thanking people for any help they may be able to provide.

“Keira is such a bright kid, she’s got so much potential to do so many great things in this world and the attitude to support that.

“I don’t want her to miss out of any opportunities because of her circumstances.”

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