A charity set up in memory of a much-loved little girl who died during complications for treatment with neuroblastoma has delivered its first batch of presents to sick children.

Forever Eight was formed earlier this year by the family of Amelia Davies, from Darlington, who died almost three years ago while battling the disease.

Last week her parents, Rhiannon Davies and Danny Hill, and grandparents heard the official explanations from medical experts regarding the eight-year-old’s death at an inquest in Newcastle.

The Northern Echo: Amelia was treated at hospital in Newcastle Amelia was treated at hospital in Newcastle (Image: Contributor)

On Tuesday, the day before it got underway, they visited the RVI to distribute toys to children with serious long-term illnesses.

Amelia’s grandma, Heather Hill, who is chairwoman of the charity, said: “We were given a list of kiddies that were on the ward, ranging from 16 months to eight years old.

“We have had some lovely messages of thanks back from children who received them.

“In future, our bags will be more personalised as we hope they will be requested through our website so we will know what the child likes.

“We are also looking at helping in other hospitals.”

The Northern Echo: Rhiannon Davies, left, with Heather Hill Rhiannon Davies, left, with Heather Hill (Image: Contributor)Amelia, who attended Polam Hall School in Darlington, became ill in August 2020 and her family was given the heart-breaking news she had a rare form of childhood cancer.

Newcastle Coroners’ Court heard she died as a result of complications during treatment as the medication could have increased her heart rate and she had an undiagnosed genetic defect, which led to a fatal cardiac arrest.   

Neuroblastoma affects around 100 children a year in the UK and only has a survival rate of around 50 per cent.

Amelia’s family has vowed to raise money to fund research and to cheer up young people across the region who are in hospital.

Creative fundraising ideas have included events at Darlington Quoit Club, sponsored walks and a make-up master class.

Amelia's dad Danny completed the Cumbrian Way walk for Forever Eight while Esme Bailey, Amelia’s cousin, and Myla Atkinson, a school friend, walked up Roseberry Topping on Saturday, September 30, to mark the end of Childhood Cancer Month.

The Northern Echo: The girls conquer Roseberry Topping in memory of Amelia The girls conquer Roseberry Topping in memory of Amelia (Image: Contributor)

The Northern Echo: Amelia's dad Danny, left, finishing the Cumbrian Way walk for Forever Eight Amelia's dad Danny, left, finishing the Cumbrian Way walk for Forever Eight (Image: Contributor)So far around £8,000 has been raised in Amelia’s memory and her family also hope the charity work will raise awareness about the symptoms so people know what to look out for.

As well as stomach pain and constipation, symptoms can include aches and pains, loss of appetite or sweating in the early stages, as well as swelling when the cancer has developed.

Depending on where the tumour is, children can become breathless or have difficulty swallowing or walking.

In future the family is hoping to visit children at hospitals such as James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough and Darlington Memorial Hospital.

The charity's mascot is Boo the monkey, which is made up of the nicknames give to Amelia by her parents, Boo from her favourite film Monsters Inc and monkey because she used hang from her  around her mother's neck.

The Northern Echo: Boo the monkey Boo the monkey (Image: Contributor)Recommended reading:

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Mrs Hill said: “Our bags are full of arts and crafts things and books, things the children can do when they are in hospital such as slime to play with and things like that.

“We knew from experience from when Amelia was in hospital that when they got a toy donated from a charity it used to brighten their day up.

“That is what we wanted to do, to brighten other kiddies’ days up so when they are in there and they are having rotten treatment there is something to put a smile on their face for a few hours.”

To find out more about the charity or to request a gift bag for a child click here.

Anyone interested running the Great North Run to support the charity can email: heather.hill@ntlworld.com

The Northern Echo: Amelia Davies was a 'cheeky and sassy' little girl Amelia Davies was a 'cheeky and sassy' little girl (Image: Contributor)