A MOTHER’S LOVE: Miami-Lee Mauger produces a rare smile as her mother Katrina holds her close.
A MOTHER’S LOVE: Miami-Lee Mauger produces a rare smile as her mother Katrina holds her close. Allan Reinikka Rokamiamile

Mum’s desperate plea for young daughter with brain tumour

LIKE many six-year-old girls, Miami-Lee Mauger loves cartoons, her doll house, the movie Frozen and going shopping for toys at Target.

Unlike many girls her age, Miami-Lee doesn't run around, laugh or smile too much because her health is slowly being taken over by a brain tumour.

Looking at Miami-Lee as she sat in a lounge chair at her North Rockhampton home, barely making a sound and watching Scooby Doo cartoons, you could tell she had been to hell and back - much like her mum Katrina Mauger.

For the past two years, Mrs Mauger has been living every mother's worst nightmare and now she's hoping for community support as she tries to beat the odds.

"Miami-Lee was first diagnosed with a brain tumour in August 2013," Mrs Mauger said.

"A few months before that, we started to notice some strange things.

"One of the first things we noticed was that whenever she would go swimming and dive down to the bottom of the pool she'd come back up crying and holding her head.

"Then she started throwing up every night.

"But it all came to a head one day when we were driving across town. We were driving up Lakes Creek Rd and she was just staring out of the window and I couldn't get her to acknowledge anything I was saying.

"As we made our way across the bridge and onto Fitzroy St, I looked in the rear-view mirror and saw her head fall back. She was staring at the ceiling, frothing at the mouth and her lips were blue.

"I had never seen a seizure before so you could imagine... I was driving, stuck in four lanes of traffic. I was trying to hold onto the steering wheel and I was shaking. I switched my hazards on and called an ambulance. People were beeping at me and getting cranky. The ambulance officers told me to drive straight to the hospital and they met me there."

After countless tests, an incorrect diagnosis and many sleepless nights, Miami-Lee was diagnosed with grade two diffuse glioma.

Despite undergoing multiple surgeries, chemotherapy and radiation, almost two years down the track things aren't getting any better for Miami-Lee.

"This whole time the tumour has been slowly growing, nothing has stopped it," Mrs Mauger said.

"We're going back to Brisbane next week to see what's going on with the tumour. Our oncologist has given us the unfortunate diagnosis of terminal."

Mrs Mauger doesn't know how long she has left with her only child and is calling out to the community for help to raise funds to give Miami-Lee life-saving surgery.

"She's a brave little girl and when she's doing okay, I'm doing okay," Mrs Mauger said.

"She was such an outgoing, chatty, fun-loving, get out there and do anything girl. Now we're reduced to a quiet little girl who doesn't say too much.

"We have a GoFundMe page going and the idea is to send her to Doctor Charlie Teo to have an operation worth about $35,000.

"But there are no guarantees. We're not sure we'll even go ahead with it because it could do more damage than good.

"The other idea is that we might give her a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Disneyland."


 You can donate to Miami-Lee at www.gofundme.


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