A LITTLE girl who is terminally ill spent her fourth birthday visiting her fairy princess castle where one day her loved ones will be able to go to remember her.
Chiara Campari-Moss was diagnosed with an incurable brain tumour in October and her parents Paola and Justin were told she only had a few months to live.
Since then her family, friends and local charities have been doing all they can to make Chiara’s life as joyful and special as possible.
Sunday was Chiara’s fourth birthday and she spent it with her parents and seven-year-old sister Ariana at Furzey Gardens in the New Forest.
Children’s cancer charity Clic Sargent arranged for artist Simon Sinkinson of tinydoors.com to construct Princess Chiara’s Castle, inscribed with the words: “Born of laughter, clothed in cheer, happiness has brought you here,”
taken from Chiara’s favourite Tinkerbell film.
Eventually Chiara’s Castle will become a memorial to the bubbly, funloving four-year-old described by her family as a “little angel brought to earth to make people happy”.
Before her illness, Chiara, of Downsway in Salisbury, was an energetic and vivacious little girl who loved ballet, gymnastics, music, singing and dressing up as her beloved Disney princesses.
She went to Busy Bees nursery in London Road and has lots of friends who still love to visit her.
Chiara was first taken ill while on a family holiday in France in August when she suffered a severe epileptic seizure and spent several days in hospital.
At first doctors thought she had a brain infection but further tests, including an MRI scan at Salisbury District Hospital and a biopsy at Southampton General Hospital, revealed it was an exceptionally rare and aggressive type of brain tumour called anaplastic astrocytoma Grade III.
Chiara was due to start to chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatments on November 4 but had a huge brain haemorrhage before they got under way.
She underwent emergency surgery and was in intensive care for ten days but fought back and regained consciousness.
Chiara spent the next month at Naomi House children’s hospice and although she had suffered brain damage, her family was able to take her ice skating, swimming and to meet Peppa Pig while she was staying there, thanks to the dedicated staff.
Salisbury Charity Lucy’s Days Out, founded in memory of 12-year-old Lucy Page who died of a brain tumour in 2010, also arranged for Chiara and her family to meet Father Christmas at Lapland UK.
In December Chiara was able to go home where she is being cared for by her family and a team of nurses.
“We know that every day we have with her is a gift,” said Mrs Campari-Moss.
“But Chiara continues to spread joy and happiness. So many people at Christmas told me that they appreciated and looked at their family in a new way because of her.
“Chiara has always been able to make people smile and she always will.”
Chiara’s family and friends have already raised £3,000 for Naomi House and will continue to fundraise for the children’s hospice and Clic Sargent.
To find out more or to donate visit justgiving.com/ChiaraCampariMoss or justgiving.com/chiaras-joy.