For Secret Harbour girl Amelia Lucas and her family, this week sees the fruition of a dream come true.
Thanks to the Starlight Foundation, Amelia – or Milli, as her friends call her – had a wish granted by the organisation and this week will be cruising the Great Barrier Reef with her siblings, Tess and Joel, and parents, Monica and Grant.
Diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumour – a grade IV glioblastoma – 10-year-old Milli has had to undergo two surgeries at Princess Margaret Hospital as well as chemotherapy and radiation treatment.
But one thing Millie has never had to wish for was best friends.
In the lead-up to her holiday – and unbeknownst to Milli – mates Ollie Martin and Taj and Brodie MacMillan took it upon themselves to raise funds so their good friend would have some spending money for her trip.
Many car washes later, and thanks to the generosity of the Singleton and Secret Harbour communities, the boys raised more than $150 for Millie.
Handing over the cash on Sunday, just 24 hours before Milli and her family were due to fly to Brisbane, the boys said they worked hard to raise money so Milli could have an extra special time on her holiday.
Milli was floored.
“Oh my God! Thank you so much,” she said.
“This is so much money.”
For Milli’s family, the holiday will be a welcome break from treatments and constant concern about the health, not only of Milli, but also that of her sister, 13-year-old Tess.
Both girls have brain tumours, with Tess’ grade III choroid plexus or meningioma adding to the family’s woes.
If that wasn’t bad enough, mum Monica is battling breast cancer.
It’s been blow after blow for the local family, many of whom share the gene for Li-Fraumeni syndrome, a disorder that greatly increases the risk of developing several types of cancer.
Monica said the family was looking forward to the holiday, and to making “awesome memories”.
She thanked the local boys for their efforts in raising money for Milli, and said her daughter was likely to spend the cash on an adventure pass while on a cruise.
To help the family cover costs for treatment, a go fund me page has been set up.
So far, close to $44,000 has been raised through donations to the page.