A pair of five-year-old girls are to walk up Roseberry Topping at the end of the month in memory of their cousin and friend, who tragically died aged only eight years old after a battle with neuroblastoma.

Amelia Davies, of Darlington, passed away two and a half years ago, which had a “devastating impact” on her family.

Now, the whole Darlington-based family have come together to raise money for children faced with the same kind of cancer as Amelia – as it helps them “feel closer to her”.

Esme Bailey, Amelia’s cousin, and Myla Atkinson, a school friend, are undertaking the walk after telling parents they wanted to get in on the fundraising action. They’ll be walking up Roseberry Topping on Saturday, September 30, to mark the end of Childhood Cancer Month.

The Northern Echo: Amelia (L) and Esme (R).

Read more: Darlington family's bid to raise awareness after death of 'cheeky' Amelia

Heather Hill, Esme and Amelia’s grandmother, said: “It’s all been Esme’s idea – she’s very keen to help us with all of our fundraising.

“It was really hard for her when Amelia died, they were incredibly close, and did all kinds of things together.

“Esme was only three when her cousin passed, but over the years she has seen us fundraise and wanted to get involved too. Recently, she did a run with her dad for our charity Forever Eight.”

Amelia died in January 2021, only four months after being diagnosed with the rare tumour.

The Northern Echo: Esme (L) and Myla (R) fundraising for Forever Eight. Esme (L) and Myla (R) fundraising for Forever Eight. (Image: Contributor)

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Although she was being treated in hospital for the cancer, her family had expected her to be home to spend some time with them ahead of an operation to remove the 11cm tumour from her abdomen.

At the time, mum Rhiannon Davies described her death as “a massive shock”.

“It was extremely unexpected. Everything was going really well.”

Amelia was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, which affects about 100 children in the UK each year, last year after experiencing stomach pains and constipation.

Her mum said: "We never thought it would be so serious. I thought she had been eating too much because she had put on some weight during lockdown. It was when she couldn't finish a sandwich that I called the doctor.

The Northern Echo: Esme (L) and Amelia (R). Esme (L) and Amelia (R). (Image: Contributor)

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"It was going on for a few weeks but I didn't think anything of it."

She added: "It's so scary to think of a child having a stomach pain and it ending up here.

"I'm thankful that through all the treatment she was still herself. Her body was completely different but she was happy and she was still cheeky. She was really sassy and funny. She was a right character."

An inquest to determine her ultimate cause of death is expected to be heard in court soon, and the family still have unanswered questions about her little girl.

Forever Eight, a Darlington-based charity, was set up in Amelia’s memory, run by her mum Rhiannon Davies, grandmother Heather Hill, and other family members.

The Northern Echo: Esme (L) and Myla (R). Esme (L) and Myla (R). (Image: Contributor)

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The Northern Echo: Amelia, who died in 2021. Amelia, who died in 2021. (Image: Contributor)

Heather said: “As a family, we raised thousands for Neuroblastoma UK in memory of our little warrior, and decided to set up a charity of our own in memory of our little warrior.

“Forever Eight raises money to provide children in hospital with long-term illnesses an arts and crafts bag, as we saw first-hand how receiving a gift in hospital can brighten a sick child’s day.

“We also give a portion of money raised to raising awareness for neuroblastoma, and into research into kinder treatments for children with the illness.”