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Family devastated by daughter’s cancer thanks community for support

Callum Boags and Jemma Gooch-Boags with their children Finlay and Amber. Picture: Maria List

Callum Boags and Jemma Gooch-Boags with their children Finlay and Amber. Picture: Maria List

Maria List

A family devastated by their little girl’s cancer diagnosis say the ‘incredible’ support from the community and their daughter’s smile is keeping them strong.

Jemma Gooch-Boags and her seven-year-old-daughter Amber who was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour. Picture: Maria List Jemma Gooch-Boags and her seven-year-old-daughter Amber who was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour. Picture: Maria List

Seven-year-old Amber Gooch-Boags from Gillingham was initially diagnosed with Bell’s Palsy, a condition which temporarily weakens the face muscles.

But after tests and scans, every parent’s nightmare was confirmed. Amber had an inoperable brain tumour.

Her mother Gemma said: “It has been an extremely tough time. Amber obviously doesn’t know the full extent of what she’s got but she has been so positive and has kept her smile despite the facial palsy.”

And that cheery outlook inspired the name of the family’s online fundraising page - Amber’s Smile.

For the next six to nine months, Amber will be undergoing gruelling chemotherapy at Addenbrooke’s Hospital.

Wanting her younger 
brother Finlay to be able to sleep in his own bed at night, the family will be commuting to and from the hospital most days.

Her godmother Maria List set up the page, hoping to alleviate some of the financial pressures the parents will face as they take time off work to support Amber through her battle.

On the page, Mrs List said: “She is the most caring little girl you could meet, always looking after others. She has been described as the perfect pupil at her school, always wanting to learn more and listen to others.

“She has been unbelievably brave and her strength is what has got us all this far and is what will get her to overcome to the long months of treatment she is about to start.”

Amber’s father Callum said: “The amount of support we have received from people over the last two weeks has just been incredible.

“It’s times like this when you see the good in people and I just want to thank everyone who has wished Amber and us well.”

Fundraising activities including a charity haircut have contributed to the more than £2,500 already raised.

Other events will take place at Ravensmere Infant School where she is a pupil and Pakefield Riding School.

Mrs List is to hold a raffle at Beccles Rugby Club. Anyone who can donate prizes should contact marialist7@gmail.com.

To donate visit www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/Amberssmile

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