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Family thankful for help as five-year-old fights brain tumour and meningitis

PUBLISHED: 15:58 08 October 2019 | UPDATED: 16:10 08 October 2019

Jon Sheehy and five-year-old Amber who has undergone surgery for a brain tumor. Picture: Jon Sheehy

Jon Sheehy and five-year-old Amber who has undergone surgery for a brain tumor. Picture: Jon Sheehy

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"Cancer messed with the wrong kid."

Amber Sheehy has undergone surgery for a brain tumor. Picture: FamilyAmber Sheehy has undergone surgery for a brain tumor. Picture: Family

These were the words of Amber Sheehy's father, as he told of the pain of seeing his tiny five-year-old daughter surrounded by tubes and wires in a hospital bed.

And the family of little Amber - who bravely underwent brain surgery, proton beam treatment, and is set to endure months of gruelling chemotherapy - have now come together to thank the community for rallying round them to raise almost £20,000 to support them through the "worst journey of our lives".

When Amber's mother, Amanda Sheehy, 39, first noticed her daughter experiencing headaches she was told by doctors it was likely to be childhood migraines.

But after further tests were done, the family, including dad Jon, 40, and brother Max, 11, were swept into a whirlwind of hospitals, surgeries, and endless worrying, following a diagnosis of medulloblastoma - a common childhood brain tumour - and a subsequent bout of meningitis.

Kate Matthers and Amanda Sheehy with' Amber's Army' cupcakes. Picture: Ella WilkinsonKate Matthers and Amanda Sheehy with' Amber's Army' cupcakes. Picture: Ella Wilkinson

"It was just hideous," Mrs Sheehy said. "She was amazing. She had a few nights in intensive care which was rank."

And Mr Sheehy added: "It was horrific. No child should have that much technology around her bed.

"When she caught an infection, the doctors said 'she's just survived brain surgery - what's a touch of meningitis?'"

The couple thanked their friends and neighbours in the close-knit village community of Horsford for their generosity - which allowed them to put a smile on Amber's face during treatment.

Amanda Sheehy and five-year-old Amber, who has undergone surgery for a brain tumor. Picture: FamilyAmanda Sheehy and five-year-old Amber, who has undergone surgery for a brain tumor. Picture: Family

A Go Fund Me page, set up by a friend surpassed an initial target of £1,000 within just a few hours.

Kate Mathers, 35, said: "You just feel so helpless and so redundant.

"If the situation was reversed, she would have done the same."

The page has gone on to raise more than £19,000 for hospital trips, fuel, food - and even flights for treatment in Germany, with friends, local schools and even the village football club taking part in everything from head shaves to cycling events, music gigs, dress down days, bake sales, quizzes and even wrestling matches.

Amber Sheehy has undergone surgery for a brain tumor. Picture: FamilyAmber Sheehy has undergone surgery for a brain tumor. Picture: Family

"The support has been phenomenal," said Mrs Sheehy.

Horsford FC are set to host a Norwich City legends match, with veterans Grant Holt, Darren Huckerby and Robert Fleck.

The match, which was rained off on Sunday, October 6, is set to be held on Friday, October 25.

-For more information, or to support the Go Fund Me, visit the Amber's Army fundraising page.

Tom and Max with 'Amber's Army' cupcakes. Picture: Ella WilkinsonTom and Max with 'Amber's Army' cupcakes. Picture: Ella Wilkinson

Amber Sheehy has undergone surgery for a brain tumor. Picture: FamilyAmber Sheehy has undergone surgery for a brain tumor. Picture: Family

Amber Sheehy has undergone surgery for a brain tumor. Picture: FamilyAmber Sheehy has undergone surgery for a brain tumor. Picture: Family

Tony De'ath, Kate Mathers, Jon Sheehy, Amanda Sheehy and Chris Brown who are fundraising for Amber's Army. Picture: Ella WilkinsonTony De'ath, Kate Mathers, Jon Sheehy, Amanda Sheehy and Chris Brown who are fundraising for Amber's Army. Picture: Ella Wilkinson

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