Brave little girl Mikayla Francis’s birthday wish comes true

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Little cancer sufferer Mikayla Francis was the centre of attention at an extraordinary gathering of friends, family and fairies to celebrate her life. Picture: Tess Follett Source: Herald Sun

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Little cancer sufferer Mikayla Francis was the centre of attention at an extraordinary gathering of friends, family and fairies to celebrate her life. Picture: Tess Follett Source: Herald Sun

MIKAYLA Francis’s last wish came true when her life was celebrated with a spectacular party.

The little girl who has touched a nation’s heart celebrated her seventh birthday yesterday with about 1000 friends, family and community members.

To allay Mikayla’s fear that she could be forgotten, her father Andrew wanted to create a party where Mikayla could look out and see hundreds of people who love and care for her. The result was beyond his dreams.

"It’s just awesome to see everyone here in the pouring rain to celebrate my daughter’s birthday," Mr Francis said.

When a very frail Mikayla appeared from an afternoon nap to cut one of her four cakes, she was clearly overwhelmed, but found a new strength when her tiny arm appeared from under her blanket to push her father into the family’s new swimming pool.

She looked frail, but her smile was bright enough to ensure the Cockatoo community that the swimming pool was a worthwhile gift.

Doctors advised the Francis family to bring their Christmas celebration forward so Mikayla, given only weeks to live and suffering a rare liver cancer, hepatoblastoma, could participate.

"It’s because Mikayla is such a caring and considerate girl herself that so many people are here today," Mikayla’s schoolteacher Anne Matheson said.

Menzies Creek primary school principal Tanya Cooke said several pupils were undergoing grief counselling. But though there were many tears shed yesterday, the overwhelming spirit was uplifting and joyous, strengthened by such a show of community support.

"Our school’s value this term is togetherness and there is no better example of that than this party today," Ms Cooke said.

"Mikayla has pulled everyone together to indicate what is really important in life."

Mikayla’s love of fairies and animals determined the party’s theme. All guests were issued with fairy wings to wear and real life fairy Nicole Valentic helped provide some entertainment, even painting Mikayla’s face on request.

 

Love your kids, says Mikayla Francis’s dad

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Mikayla Francis is celebrating her seventh birthday and an early Christmas today. Picture: David Caird Source: Herald Sun

PARENTS should cherish every moment with their children, spending more time hugging, talking, praying and loving them, Andrew Francis says.

His daughter, Mikayla Francis, who is celebrating her seventh birthday and an early Christmas today, is dying of a rare liver cancer.
"The thing we’ve learnt over this journey so far is to take more time reading books, hugging, talking, praying with and loving your kids," Mr Francis said.
"Cherish every moment you’ve got with them and remember what comes first."
But for Mikayla, her father was not the most important man in her life; he came third, after God and Jesus, she said.
Family came next, and as "awesome" as she thought heaven would be, she didn’t want to be there without them, Mikayla said.
Sharing was the next most important thing "because nobody should miss out", Mikayla said.

Other important values to live by were "love, care, being helpful, faith, respect, friendliness, caring for others, don’t fight and co-operating".
Mum Allyson Cowan said the family had been overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and support by Victorians since Mikayla’s plight was aired on 3AW on Monday.
"She’s absolutely convinced that not only will Mummy and Daddy remember her and love her forever, but half the nation will," Ms Cowan said.
"One of her biggest fears, believe it or not, wasn’t dying but being forgotten, and 110-fold, that wish has been met."
Mikayla had been energised, but also overwhelmed, by all of the love and support she had received this week, Ms Cowan said.
Among the thousands of cards sent to her was one from Prime Minister Julia Gillard, in which she wrote: "I hope you have the world’s best birthday. You deserve it!"
Mikayla was very excited about her party today, which will be celebrated with hundreds of family, friends and schoolmates. She is looking forward to "everything".
Menzies Creek Primary School principal Tanya Cooke said letters, cards, gifts and flowers for Mikayla had swamped the school.
"Thousands and thousands of letters have arrived for her. You couldn’t even count them there’s been so many. It’s been amazing," Ms Cooke said.
"She’s such a friendly little girl with a huge smile and a big heart and it’s touched everybody."
In August, Mikayla was diagnosed with liver cancer, which has spread to her lungs. She did not respond to treatment, and doctors told her parents to bring Christmas forward.

bettsma@heraldsun.com.au

Source : Herald Sun & 3AW – Thanks so much for the articles, photos, and appreciation you showed for Mikayla Francis (Jakarta Berdoa)

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