WATCH: This West Sussex girl complained of a tummy ache, then died of a brain tumour
6:51am 20th March 2017
A West Sussex mum who lost her two-year old daughter to a brain tumour says enough still isn't being done.
It has been almost 11 years since Lola's parents were told the news that their daughter had one.
She had originally been diagnosed by her GP with a stomach bug, but later suffered a seizure and was sent for emergency surgery.
Mum Michelle de la Motta-Rice said: “She was sleeping an awful lot and the doctor told me it was a tummy bug. That night she was restless, almost going a crazy and I thought, she’s feeling better.
“On the Tuesday morning, she was eating, my husband had stayed off as he was concerned.
“I then looked across at Lola and her eyes were totally glazed over and she started trembling."
Sadly, she never made it and her family were told the devastating news by a doctor.
Michelle continued: "That was the hardest thing ever, I'll never forget those words. It was the way he said it, I just remember breaking down thinking 'surely he didn't just say that, surely there's no way this is happening.'"
Since then Lola's mum has been calling for more research and funding into brain tumours to ensure nobody else has to go through the pain she has.
Brain tumours are the leading cause of childhood cancer deaths in the UK.
Around 500 children and young people in the UK are diagnosed each year. Diagnosis times of childhood brain tumours are longer in the UK than in many other countries.
"We don't know enough about it. Nobody knows why they happen.
"What I can't understand is that brain tumours kill more people in this country under the age of 35 in this country than any other cancer, yet it receives just 1% of the national funding for cancer research.
"Most cancers travel to the brain so it's so important that more research is done on brain tumours.
"The fact that Lola is up there looking down us provides us with courage to carry on day-to-day."
Michelle is backing Wear a Hat Day at the end of March as part of Brain Tumour Awareness Month.
She is encouraging people to get involved in the initiative being organised by the charity Brain Tumour Research on Friday March 31st.
Sarah Lindsell, CEO of The Brain Tumour Charity, said: "A tummy bug could be a tummy bug, but if you combine it with a number of other symptoms and the persistancy overtime, that's why we know now that actually those are the signs and symptoms of a brain tumour in Children.
"Our Head Smart campaign can give parents all the information they need to understand that better."
Do you know the symptoms?
Lola's death prompted Michelle to set up Gifts For Angels, a small online business which raises money for research.
The service offers grieving relatives grave ornaments.
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