The mother of brave schoolgirl Milli Lucas who underwent life-saving brain surgery just days ago will now embark on her own cancer battle after revealing the disease, which she previously overcame, has returned.
Monica Smirk and her family celebrated the successful operation on Milli by famed neurosurgeon Charlie Teo over a week ago. But now the family have come up against another obstacle after the doting mum discovered her own cancer had returned, three years after she underwent a double mastectomy and hysterectomy, The West Australian reports.
Sadly Monika and Milli aren’t the only ones in the family to have been diagnosed with cancer either as five other close relatives have battled with the disease, which is a devastating symptom of Li-Fraumeni syndrome.
The gene disposition is incredibly rare, affecting less than 1,000 people across the world, and is passed down from parent to child. Monica’s brother, niece and mother all tragically died from cancer, while her nephew and other daughter Tess fought their own battles against the disease. Tess was diagnosed with a similar brain tumour to her sister but was thankfully able to beat it without surgery.
Of late, all of Monika’s attention has been on Milli whose cancer was classed as terminal before she underwent the recent high-risk operation.
The 12-year-old won hearts across the country last month when her story was shared on national TV as the family struggled to come up with the funds for the pricey operation to save her life.
Thankfully, with the help of the public, they managed to raise an impressive $160,000 to cover the cost of surgery by Teo, plus the family’s accommodation and flights to Sydney from Perth.
The operation all went to plan and Milli was miraculously up walking and talking within a matter of hours. But now Monika must decide what action to take with her own cancer.
“It’s [my cancer] just come back,” she told The West Australian. “We don’t know what to do yet, so we’re just keeping an eye on it.
“I can see it, it’s not grown so it can wait, but it’ll have to come off eventually.”
Meanwhile Milli is trying to stay positive as she continues her recovery with plans to one day become a professional singer.
Sharing a few details about herself with The West Australian the brave fighter said she isn’t going to let her past define her future and refuses to be known as the “cancer girl” for life.
“We all have cancer stories,” she told the publication. “But I think this is just a part of my story, not my whole story.
“I want to be a singer when I grow up. My plan is to get better, get my right arm better, and then I’m going to sign my CDs and sell them.”