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Award for 'holes-in-heart' cancer girl
Buy this photo » Evie-May Crawford with mum Jo and her award. Picture: OX57312 Ric Mellis
TODDLER Evie-May Crawford has Down’s Syndrome and is now battling an aggressive form of cancer.
But she still managed a beaming smile when she was named a ‘Little Star’ by Cancer Research UK this week.
Evie-May, who is 20 months old and from Berinsfield, near Wallingford, was born with two holes in her heart.
Last October, when she underwent surgery for a rare type of cleft palate and to fit grommets in both her ears, parents Jo and Stuart Crawford thought their tiny daughter must surely have been through the worst.
Just weeks later though, Evie-May was diagnosed with cancer, an aggressive form of leukaemia which needed urgent treatment.
She was rushed back from a family holiday in Scotland by air ambulance to the John Radcliffe Hospital to start chemotherapy straight away.
This week Evie-May enjoyed a brief respite from her treatment, with some time back at home with her family.
And providing a much-needed ray of sunshine was the news that she has been named a Little Star by Cancer Research UK.
Mrs Crawford said: “In her short life, Evie-May has been through so much. But even after all her health problems nothing could have prepared us for the huge shock we had in December when she was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukaemia. It was massive to hear that, but it was all systems go as she needed to be treated quickly.”
Evie-May, who loves music, animals and the children’s television character Mr Tumble, is currently doing well.
The holes in her heart have mended naturally on their own. But her fight with cancer is ongoing and she must return to hospital next week for another four to six week phase of chemotherapy, and three further phases in the next few months.
Mrs Crawford added: “Despite everything she has a smile for us, and the nurses at the hospital adore her.
“Staff at the John Radcliffe have been amazing and news that she has been named a Little Star has been a boost for us all. Evie-May’s sisters also received certificates and they are looking forward to helping her spend her voucher.”
Mr and Mrs Crawford, both 35, have three other daughters – Chloe, 15, Amber, 12 and Freya, four.
Mr Crawford is a train driver trainer for First Great Western and Mrs Crawford worked at Oxford Magistrates’ Court as an admin assistant, before giving up her job to look after Evie-May full-time.
Little Star Awards are given each year in special recognition of the courage shown by children with cancer. Recipients receive a trophy, a £50 TK Maxx gift card and a certificate signed by celebrities, which this year include the band JLS and Liverpool footballer Steven Gerrard.
Helen Johnstone, Cancer Research UK’s spokesman for Oxfordshire, said: “Evie-May so deserves her Little Star Award. After everything she has had to face, she has a smile for everyone. She has had to face more treatment in her short life than most people would contemplate in a lifetime.
“Evie-May’s mum says the staff at the hospital love her because she accepts the treatment has to be done. She’s an amazing little girl.”
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