As a three-year-old cancer victim she touched the hearts of Helston. Now, four years on, she is an inspiration to all, after going on to become a national ambassador for Cancer Research UK.
Brave Poppy De’Ath will soon be recognised nationally, after she was invited to become a face of a forthcoming campaign for the charity.
Although full details of the campaign and her involvement remain closely guarded this week, all is set to be revealed at the start of next month when the charity launches it to the world.
Speaking from her home in Helston this week, Poppy’s mum Amy said: “I don’t think proud is a strong enough word to describe how me and her dad feel, and her family.
“She’s amazing, absolutely amazing. The fact that she has got it in her mind to want to give something back, without us having to put that in to her, makes us incredibly proud.”
As part of her involvement in the campaign Poppy travelled to London with her family at the end of last month, where she was pampered and preened before getting to spend some time in the city – including a visit to the West End musical Wicked.
Poppy, who attends St Michael’s Primary School, celebrated her seventh birthday on Saturday, surrounded by her delighted friends and family.
At one stage it seemed difficult to believe she would ever reach such a milestone, after developing stage four, high risk neuroblastoma – a cancer of the nervous system that then spread as a secondary cancer to her bones.
It was discovered that Poppy needed a specialist treatment called immunotherapy, which at the time was not available in the UK.
The community of Helston stepped in, raising hundreds of pounds towards sending Poppy to America to receive it.
It was at this point that Cancer Research UK became aware of the little girl’s plight and Poppy became one of the first children to be offered the treatment that had had then newly arrived in the UK, funded by the charity.
In October 2011 the family was told Poppy was in remission, a state in which she remains to this day.
The charity has kept in touch with Poppy, however, and she was given a Little Star award three years ago, recognising her courage.
Then, around four weeks ago, mum Amy received a phone call out of the blue asking if Poppy would like to become a campaign ambassador.
“I had to discuss it with Poppy. When we suggested to her that would she like to help more people with cancer, by encouraging them to spend money that goes into funding new medicines, she was well up for it.
“She went on to say about friends she had lost. She wanted to be able to help them – those were her words.”
Amy was full of praise for charities like Cancer Research UK, and CLIC Sargent, saying: “I don’t think you can come across a family that hasn’t been touched by cancer. These charities, the work that they do needs lots of help.”
A spokesperson for Cancer Research UK paid tribute to Poppy, saying: “She’s such an inspiration here. We meet people every day, but her and her family are just so amazing.”
Watch out for more details of the campaign and see Poppy’s involvement in a future edition of the Packet.