We are very pleased to welcome Strictly Come Dancing winner, actress, model and West End star KARA TOINTON as the Charity’s Patron. Amelia met Kara, and they had an instant connection (helped by their mutual love of clothes!). Kara kindly made contact with us after this meeting and has kept in contact throughout her busy work schedule. She is a very compassionate and humble person, and we are very excited she has chosen to support us.
Kara sent us this message for our supporters:
“I met Amelia last year in the spring of 2010. I was attending the Little Star Awards held at London Zoo in Regents Park organised by Cancer Research UK. It was my first time at the event and I was really chuffed to receive the invite. It is these events that you remember, and which put everything in life into real perspective.
I was chatting to lots of the children and their families and I remember Amelia coming over to me and starting up a conversation. It was like talking to a little adult, she was this eloquent, intelligent, beautiful eight-year-old; and I remember thinking surely this gorgeous little girl is not ill. We chatted about EastEnders, and about some of the things that she had been up to. She had previously met, Myley Cyrus (her idol from Hannah Montana) and had spent some time on set with Daniel Radcliffe while he was filming Harry Potter.
She told me how amazing it was and that Daniel had been so kind, and great in showing her around and making it a very special day to remember. Her face lit up and I could tell that these moments had really lifted her spirits during such a tough time. While talking to her dad Karl he explained to me the facts of Amelia’s illness; he told me how strong she was, constantly exceeding all the doctors’ expectations and he explained how having a terminally ill child meant that every day they had with Amelia was a bonus and so precious. They just wanted to give her as many special moments as they could.
It hit me what this family had been through, I could not even imagine that sort of pain but realized that Karl and Chantel’s sole aim now was to bring as much happiness and excitement to their little girl’s brutally short life. They just wanted to see her smile, and to do whatever they could possibly do to make up for all the hospital time that they never imagined their child having to endure.
It is because of their amazing strength and fight that they were able to give Amelia such incredible experiences; that not only she loved but in turn gave them memories they will always treasure. I now realise the importance of charities such as Cancer Research and Make a Wish, who can help in what can only be described as any person’s worst nightmare.
This support is essential, and that is why Chantel and Karl have set up Amelia’s Rainbow. They are the perfect ambassadors to guide other parents, and to carry on Amelia’s legacy.
I went to visit Amelia in the final week of her short life. I had been trying to get there for a while and I can honestly say it was one of the toughest days of my life – but I wouldn’t have missed seeing her again. With what they had endured this was nothing, and a huge wake up call for me – it was the least I could do. Chantel, Karl and Amelia had moved to a beach front house in Bournemouth as someone had kindly insisted they should stay at their holiday home to make it as peaceful and comfortable as possible.
I had expected to perhaps play with Amelia on the beach, but maybe I had underestimated how quickly things could change. To my sadness this was not going to be possible, as I’d got there too late. I felt utterly helpless and I was angry. This was like nothing I had ever felt before. If I felt like this, what the heck had Chantel and Karl been dealing with for the last two years?
Please help us make this Charity as great and beautiful as Amelia was; help us let her name and memory live on. She is, to whoever was lucky enough to have met her, an inspiration. Let’s make it a little easier for other families living through the reality of cancer and other serious illness, and give them the small helping hand we can.”