Her story is heartbreaking, yet at the same heartwarming.
Miranda’s Milan Nguyen-Mai, who turns six in May, has been battling a brain tumour since she was diagnosed in July last year.
The next day, she had an urgent operation to remove the tumour.
Milan has medulloblastoma, which is the most common brain tumour in children, usually occurring between the ages of three and eight.
In Milan’s case, because the medulloblastoma spread to the spinal column, her condition is high-risk.
The Kindergarten pupil of Our Lady of Fatima School, Caringbah, is undergoing treatment at Sydney Children’s Hospital, Randwick.
Since her diagnosis, she has endured radiation and chemotherapy, with her parents and two younger siblings by her side.
Survival rates for children who had a complete removal of their tumour initial surgery, have risen to 80 per cent at five years from diagnosis, compared to about 50 per cent survival rates five years ago.
Milan’s mother and music teacher from Bethany College Hurstville, Marilee, shaved her own hair in solidarity with her daughter.
“She started out with a cure rate of 80 per cent but it’s gone down from there,” she said.
“The prognosis is bad and we just don’t know if this latest treatment, injecting high doses of chemo in her head, will work.
“So far she’s tolerating it well. She’s just very sleepy. We take each hour as it comes.”
A family friend is organising a fundraiser at Cronulla Leagues Club on April 8.
It will be hosted by DJ Jazzy, to raise money for Milan’s ongoing treatment, and awareness of terminal illness in children.
“We’ve had so much support,” Mrs Mai said.
“As a parent you’re a natural advocate for your children…all my strength comes through Milan.
“She’s so clever, strong-willed, and she loves music – playing the piano, dancing, art and crafts.”
The event, ‘Milan’s Miracle’, is from 2pm-5pm.
There will be entertainment including karaoke, a fashion parade, face painting and dancing.