FRIENDS and family are rallying round to help a brave toddler who was diagnosed with leukaemia.
Millie Holt, who turned two yesterday, is undergoing intensive rounds of chemotherapy that will last until she is four-years-old.
She was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia, cancer of the white blood cells, on May 1, after being taken to the doctors feeling unwell and with bruises and rashes.
The treatment has caused her to lose all her hair, more than two kilos in weight and even her voice.
Her dad Darren said: “In the last three months we have spent eight weeks at Great Ormond Street Hospital.
“It is very hard. It is difficult to watch your little baby going through it. When she wasn’t talking we didn’t even know if she was in pain.
“It is the hardest thing I have ever had to go through. I wouldn’t wish it on anyone else.”
The family, including mum Deborah, step-sister Brittany, 15, and Summer, three, celebrated Millie’s second birthday with a few close family members and friends.
They will also attend a family fun day at the Chapman Sands Sailing Club on Canvey, this Sunday, which is being held in honour of Millie, and will raise funds for expenses such as journeys to and from hospital.
Mr Holt, 44, of Athol Close, Canvey, who is a member of the club, said: “It is lovely, I don’t really know what to say. It makes you realise who your friends are. I never would have expected it.
“NowMillie is doing absolutely brilliantly.
She has started walking again, which she was doing before she was diagnosed, but the chemo affected all her joints and muscles.
“She is almost back to her old self.
“We have been through a lot in the last three months, but the last three to four weeks have been brilliant, as she has been so much better.
“She is always smiling and a really happy kid. I couldn’t wish for better, she is a cracker.”
The fun day starts at 3pm on Sunday at the EasternEsplanade club and has attractions including live music, bouncy castles, face painting and stalls.
Entry is £5 for adults and free for children.