Ipswich: Four-year-old Camille reaches milestone of first day of school after gruelling months of cancer treatment

IPSWICH: It was a day they thought might never come.

In June 2009, Camille Shave was diagnosed with a tumour on the brain, just weeks after her second birthday.

But the brave tot beat the odds in overcoming the illness.

And now the four-year-old’s proud parents have enjoyed an occasion they worried they would never see – taking her to her first day of school.

It was a special moment for Hayley and Martin Shave as they took little Camille to Nacton CEV Primary School. Mrs Shave, of Purdis Farm, Ipswich, described the tot as an inspiration.

“She is amazing, absolutely amazing,” she said.

“Her first day of school was last Thursday and she ran up to the gates and barely even turned her head back to us.

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“She looked adorable, she is a little bit smaller than the other children because of the chemotherapy.

“She had been really looking forward to going to school and she is absolutely loving it.”

Camille was diagnosed with a tumour on the brain in June 2009.

When doctors first assessed the toddler, surgery was deemed too dangerous as the tumour was pressing against the cerebellum and the brain stem.

After months of chemotherapy to reduce the size of the tumour and having had more than 70 general anaesthetics and 20 operations, the adorable youngster came through it all smiling.

Last month, The Evening Star revealed that Camille had won her fight against the tumour, when she was declared free of cancer. “We never thought we would get to this point, when she was going through all the treatment and having all of the anaesthetics and operations,” Mrs Shave said.

“She is making lots of friends which is lovely.”

After Camille’s diagnosis, her parents set up a charity in her name in a mission to help other youngsters like her. So far, Camille’s Appeal has raised more than �150,000.

In his online blog, which is updated regularly, Mr Shave said he had expected her first day of school to be “emotional for all of us”.

“There are plenty of things that we can worry ourselves about – Camille’s diet, her mobility, her hearing, her sight,” he said.

“However, sometimes we just need to sit back and think about how far we have come and how much we wanted for this day to come.

“We’ll never be able to move on from the struggles and heartbreak of the last two years but moments like this week will go a long way to making us feel a bit better about life.”

A Christmas Ball, to be held at Wherstead Hall on December 9, will raise funds for Camille’s Appeal and will include music and a special auction. A table for 10 costs �450.

n Have you got an inspiration story to tell? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or send an e-mail to eveningstar letters@eveningstar.co.uk

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