Heartbreak as terminally ill father (32) who raised £500k for daughter's cancer treatment succumbs to brain tumour
Published 01/10/2015 | 17:51
A father who pledged to support his daughter in her fight against cancer has heartbreakingly succumbed to the disease.
Tom Attwater, from Birmingham in England, vowed to stand by his daughter, Kelli Smith, following her devastating and unexpected cancer diagnosis.
However, due to a tragic twist of fate he died from a terminal brain tumor which struck days after he succeeded in raising funds to aid his daughter's treatment.
Kelli Smith had been fighting neuroblastoma, an aggressive childhood cancer, since she was only three months old.
“Kelli means everything to me and as her dad, I feel it is my role to help her in whatever way I can.
“I know I won’t always be here for Kellii and that is heartbreaking but I can make sure if Kelli needs treatment it is possible," her loving father said.
Kelli was diagnosed with neuroblastoma as an infant , and underwent a year of chemotherapy.
Miraculously, the treatment was successful, but doctors warned Kelli’s parents that she had a high risk of relapse due to the nature of the disease.
In 2012, the family was devastated to learn that Kelli’s cancer had returned.
She was only three-years-old.
“It is the worst nightmare possible.
"We just knew we had to fight for Kelli and stay strong to give her the best chance of life we could,” her father said.
But the family’s worries were far from over.
The same year, Tom learned he had a brain tumor.
Following surgery, doctors told him it was cancerous, the Sutton Observer reported.
Even though he realised he would die from the disease, Attwater said he knew he had to keep going for the sake of his family.
“It is very, very hard at times to remain positive but Joely and Kelli always give me many reasons to smile and keep me going,” he said.
"I really want Kelli to be proud of me one day and remember me fondly and that drives me on.”