The West

Miracle girl the first to survive rare form of brain cancer
'Miracle' girl the first to survive rare form of brain cancer

A British girl, who was given only weeks to live after being diagnosed with terminal cancer, has been declared cancer free by doctors.

Eight-year-old Claudia Burkhill, from Lincolnshire in north-east England, is understood to be the first person in the world to overcome metastatic pineoblatoma – a rare and aggressive form of cancer with a survival rate of less than five per cent.

Britain’s Daily Mail reports Claudia’s parents were told their daughter was suffering from terminal cancer and had only weeks to live.

Her parents had even started planning their daughter’s funeral.

But, three years since their daughter became ill with the disease, Andrea and David Burkhill are celebrating the news she is cancer-free.

Claudia Burkill with her mother Andrea. Photo: Claudia's Cause

Mrs Burhill announced the news on the family’s Facebook page this week.


A miracle has happened, it really has.........I just can’t stop shaking and I need to sign off. Love to each and every one of you.”

The family first noticed Claudia’s illness after she started vomiting after returning from a holiday in June 2011.

Doctors first told her parents she had a virus and she was diagnosed with squint after a visit to a hospital.

Not satisfied with the diagnosis, Mrs Burkill arranged to have her daughter transferred to a second hospital where a lethal tumour was found at the centre of Claudia’s brain.

Claudia never gave up despite her parents being told she had only weeks to live. Photo: Claudia's Cause

Since being diagnosed with metastatic pineoblatoma, Claudia underwent an experimental Italian treatment in a British hospital involving 44 sessions of radiotherapy.

The Mail reports MRI scans showed Claudia was in the clear and, although she has suffered some brain damage from her treatment, her family is confident her health will improve.

The family has raised the equivalent of more than $350,000 for charities including The Children’s Brain Tumour Research Centre since their daughter’s diagnosis.

More than 240,000 people have been following the family’s updates of Claudia’s condition on Facebook and many congratulated the family this week.

“Well done Claudia, you give hope and inspiration to so so many others xxxx miracles can and DO happen xxxxx (sic),” one person posted.

The West Australian

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