Dagenham rallies round to make memories for family of 'joyful, little' tot with cancer

Ava portrait

Two-year-old Ava is receiving treatment at Great Ormond Street Hospital which will hopefully give her months rather than weeks left. - Credit: Courtesy of the Cottle family

A mum has thanked well-wishers helping fulfil the dreams of her daughter who has been given months to live.

Two-year old Ava Cottle from Dagenham has acute myeloid leukaemia and has already completed three rounds of chemotherapy.

Ava in her chair

Well-wisher Joely Morris described Ava as a "happy, joyful little girl". - Credit: Courtesy of the Cottle family

Great Ormond Street Hospital medics originally told the family Ava would need a bone marrow transplant, but they lost that option after the third round failed to stop the disease.

Mum, Cherry Cottle, said: "They've done so well to do what they can, but the last round, which they said was the strongest they could give, didn't do anything."

Ava couldn't undergo full strength chemotherapy because she has Down Syndrome.

The tot is now receiving treatment which unfortunately won't get rid of the cancer, but should slow its spread and give the family more time with Ava.

However,  if that doesn't succeed, the toddler would have weeks rather than months left.

Ava and mum Cherry Cottle

Ava with mum Cherry. - Credit: Courtesy of the Cottle family

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"She could prove everyone wrong and last quite a few months which would be brilliant. We just don't know," Cherry said.

She added Ava is okay, but as the days go on she will tire. But for now the Peppa Pig fan has enough energy to play fight with her four brothers.

To help make their time together even more special, a fundraising page was set up by a group of parents at Hunters Hall primary. Its £1,000 target was smashed within days.

Supporters want to do all they can to support the family, but the coronavirus restrictions mean they have to do so from a distance.

Joely Morris, one of the parents behind the fundraising, said of the donations: "It's really heart-warming. As much as Dagenham has a bad reputation, we've got a lot of community spirit.

"They're a really lovely family. Ava is a happy, joyful little girl. We're just gutted we can't be around for the family, but we want to do what we can."

And they are doing that in spades with parents swinging into action to arrange a pony dressed up as a unicorn to pay Ava a visit. 

They also want to arrange for animal lover Ava to come face to face with a cow, one of her favourites.

Cherry said: "From the bottom of our hearts thank you to everybody that has helped us. Everyone has been so lovely."

To donate visit GoFundMe.

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