THE mum of a young girl battling cancer has issued a heartfelt thank-you after being inundated with support when her daughter’s iPad went missing at the Sick Kids hospital.
Five-year-old Natalya Anderson has been making weekly trips to the hospital for chemotherapy since last autumn after being diagnosed with an inoperable glioma brain stem tumour aged just 18 months.
Her mum, Ashley Sim, explained they were on their way home to Hawick last Friday when they realised Natalya’s iPad was missing.
Ashley, 30, said her daughter “relied heavily” on her iPad while undergoing her gruelling treatment as it helped keep her entertained and also in touch with members of her family.
She said: “She [Natalya] was devastated, she didn’t stop crying all day Friday when we realised it was gone.
“Her brother has got a really old iPad – he did offer her his but she wouldn’t accept it.
“It’s not got her photos and her music, she loves her music.
“It was in a Trolls case – she absolutely loves that film and it had all her little stickers [for treatment].
“She was devastated that they were gone as well and it was something that her grandad got for her so it was quite sentimental as well.”
It was back in 2013 that Natalya was diagnosed with the tumour following an MRI scan, with medics initially thinking she might have cerebral palsy.
Thankfully the tumour was not aggressive but the youngster still needs to undergo chemotherapy until the end of the year in effort to stop it from growing.
But now her family has been offered fresh hope after an online fundraising page set up to help raise the cash for a new device smashed its £525 target in a matter of hours.
Ashley said she couldn’t thank people enough for their generosity, with one individual even offering to pay the full cost of a new iPad.
She said: “It’s been absolutely fantastic.
“I couldn’t believe how quickly they raised the money for it.
“It puts your faith back in humanity that there are still nice people out there.
“It takes about three to five days to go out of the Go Fund Me and then I can go away and purchase a new one for her.
“She doesn’t know that she’s getting a new one – we want it to be a little surprise. She will be over the moon.
“She knows the funds have been raised and that people have been trying to help her but she doesn’t know that it’s going to be coming yet.”
It comes as Natalya’s family continue to push ahead with a separate Go Fund Me page to raise £6150 for a new electronic wheelchair.
Natalya has weakness on her left side and while she can walk a few steps with a frame relies for the most part on her wheelchair to get about.
Ashley said a new electric chair would make the world of difference in helping Natalya move around.
She added: “She is a very brave little girl. Anybody that meets Natalya she melts their heart. She always has a smile on her face. It doesn’t matter how terrible she feels, she can always manage a smile.”