Disney fan, 6, dies of rare cancer after parents notice face change during meal

A six-year-old girl has tragically died after her parents noticed her face had changed during a family meal.

Acacia Surridge-Hill was eventually diagnosed with an extremely rare and aggressive form of brain cancer after her mum Carly Surridge, 32, and stepdad Ben Hardy, 26, took her to hospital.

Frozen-mad Acacia passed away at the family's home in Crewe on November 28, whilst snow was falling outside.

She leaves behind Carly, Ben and her brother Landon Surridge-Hill, aged 9. She was also set to become a big sister with Carly and Ben expecting a baby girl in January, reports Stoke-on-Trent Live.

Carly said: "Acacia loved Disney and her favourites were Anna and Elsa from Frozen. On the Sunday when she went it was snowy, which was just perfect.

"I'm absolutely devastated, but I'm happy that she's not going through this anymore and that she can be free."

Acacia was diagnosed with a diffuse midline glioma H3K27M – an aggressive incurable cancer – in September last year after her parents noticed one of her eyes was almost closed and her mouth was slanted.

She was initially was diagnosed with Bell's Palsy, but after Carly pushed for a scan, doctors found a mass on her brain.

She underwent gruelling radiotherapy to slow the tumour's growth.

Carly explained: "Three weeks ago they told us she had weeks to live, so we knew it was coming, but we didn't know when. She stayed at home with us and we looked after her.

"She had lost all mobility and was completely paralysed. She had a special support chair called a PPod that was like her little throne.

"At the end she was very quiet and sleepy, which felt very strange because she was always like a little whirlwind going 100 miles an hour. She wasn't in any pain and she just went so peacefully.

"She was always a star, shining bright, and she's still doing that now. She was adorable and so friendly. She was a wonderful girl and I am very, very proud of her. I couldn't be more proud."

In April more than 80 staff from Acacia's school, Wistaston Academy, cycled almost 1,000 miles on exercise bikes – the distance from Crewe to Disneyland Paris and back – to raise money for a trip of a lifetime.

Over £15,000 was raised on a GoFundMe page, but sadly Acacia was too unwell to travel abroad and the family instead took trips to Blackpool, Wales and Disney on Ice.

Some money raised is going towards giving Acacia a funeral fit for a Disney princess, and a horse and carriage will bring her to the service.

Mourners are asked to dress colourfully as a celebration of Acacia's life, and any donations will go to Claire House Children's Hospice in Bebington, the Wirral, whose team supported the family throughout.

Dominique Griffiths, principal of Wistaston Academy, paid tribute to the six-year-old.

She said: "Acacia has shown nothing but courage, incredible bravery and a zest for life, even during the toughest of times.

"Her infectious smile and laugh never failed to light up the room.

"We will remember her for her creativity, vibrant personality and all things Disney; she will be always be our very own princess.

"Our thoughts are with her family, who have become incredibly close to the school community during this last year. Their strength, positivity and resilience can only be described as inspirational.

"Acacia, you will never be forgotten."

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