In loving memory of Sadie Rose Clifford

Beautiful Sadie Rose was born on 8th August 2009 weighing a very healthy 8lbs 6oz. But in October 2010, after being unwell for a month, parents Katie and Darren were told that 14-month-old baby Sadie had stage 4 neuroblastoma.

Sadie has been through frontline treatment here in the UK. This included 70 days of chemotherapy in November 2010, major surgery in February 2011 to remove a large tumour which was located above her left kidney and wrapped around the main artery in the body, her aorta. Sadie bounced back after this life-threatening operation and was home after just over a week in hospital.

In March 2011 Sadie had an intensive course of high dose chemotherapy to prepare her body for her stem cell transplant. Sadie had her own stem cells given back, with the aim of helping her fight the neuroblastoma. Unfortunately, she developed a very serious and potentially life-threatening liver disease called veno-occlusive disease (VOD) as a side effect from her high dose chemotherapy.

Sadie had three weeks of radiotherapy in June and July, followed by immunotherapy treatment. After just two weeks she had a seizure, and an emergency CT showed that there was a tumour on the right side of her brain. The next day a four-hour operation to remove the tumour took place, and tissue samples were sent to the lab for tests. These showed that the tumour was cancerous, and that the neuroblastoma had returned.

Sadie had more procedures, like bone marrow tests, CT and heart scans plus specialised bone scans (MIBG). The results of these were used to determine the plan for further treatment at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in America.

Katie and Darren went to America in January and Sadie Rose began the specialised treatment in America. Her treatment costs were quoted at £500,000. Katie and Darren, and their community aimed to raise as much as possible to cover the costs. However, on the 18th January, the family’s life was once again turned upside down, when a new scan showed that Sadie Rose had relapsed again with tumours in her liver and chest.

Sadie was treated for this relapse in New York as a matter of urgency and Sadie received chemotherapy to try and arrest the disease. Then the family came back to the UK where Sadie continued to have treatment in the hope that she would be able to join a new trial for relapsed neuroblastoma.

However, on 15th June 2012, following further checks, Katie and Darren received the absolutely devastating news that Sadie could no longer be helped. Sadie passed away on 25th June.

You can still make a donation in Sadie’s memory. All the funds raised for Sadie’s Appeal, that were not spent on her medical costs, will be used to further research into the disease, increase access to treatment or broaden awareness and education.

Every donation, no matter how small, will make a difference.