Parents who lost daughter, 8, to rare cancer: we’ll never get over our grief

The parents of an eight-year-old girl who lost a battle with a rare form of cancer have told how they will never overcome the grief of losing her.

Karen and Warren blunt, from Wimbledon, have raised thousands of pounds in memory of their daughter Caitlyn, who was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer after developing sudden back pain.

Caitlyn was diagnosed with the cancer angiosarcoma in 2014 and just seven months later, tragically died.

Her parents, Karen and Warren, are battling to increase awareness of the illness and to raise money for the hospice that supported her when she was at her most sick.

They are training to run the Royal Parks Half Marathon in October and have already raised more than £5,000 in memory of little Caitlyn.

Caitlyn was diagnosed with the illness in July 2014 after complaining of lower back pain and being sent for a series of tests. 

Loss: Warren Blount, 43, and his wife Karen, 42, with their daughter

Angiosarcoma is a rare cancer of the inner lining of her blood vessels. It is most common in skin, breast, and deep tissue.

“In Caitlyn’s case, it formed vascular tumours in her sacrum, ankle, and liver,” Mr Blount, an accountant, explained. 

“It first presented as a pain in her lower back (sacrum) and very quickly escalated. We acted quickly but it had already metastasised.

“She fought bravely and was otherwise fit and healthy, but this cancer is extremely aggressive.”

Mrs Blount added: “We tried three different forms of treatment but, in the end, doctors advised there was nothing more they could do.

Caitlyn: The little girl was diagnosed with Angiosarcoma

“Caitlyn hated having the chemo so we didn’t want to put her through it again. It was horrendous having to see your child go through that. Truly barbaric.”

Mr Blount said: “It is a truly awful experience for a parent to watch their child suffer and not be in a position to help them. 

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“It’s been nearly two and a half years since we lost Caitlyn and I can’t say we are any way closer to getting over it, I don’t think you ever do.”

The couple have decided to take on the half marathon in a bid to raise money for Shooting Star Chase – a children’s hospice charity caring for babies and children.

In the last months of Caitlyn’s life the hospice provided therapy for her – including the use of a pool when she lost the use of her legs and was in horrific pain.

It also provided therapy for her sister Megan, who was six when Caitlyn died, and put on  pamper days and support events for the girls’ parents.

“They were very helpful. In our situation Caitlyn was in a lot of pain and was immobilised from an early stage,” Mr Blount said.

“They have a music therapist that proved to be very soothing for both Caitlyn and Megan. They have provided sibling support to Megan, and she continues to receive therapy from them.

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“Megan was only six when Caitlyn passed away. Caitlyn was the biggest personality in our house, she had real spark and Megan adored her.”

Mr and Mrs Blount previously ran a half marathon in South Africa, where they are both from, to raise money for Caitlyn’s school and are hoping to complete the course in two hours and 10 minutes.

“It might be a little ambitious,” Mrs Blount said. “But we have been training together every morning which helps, and we have friends and family who are going to run it with us.

“Megan doesn’t like running but she will be on the side-lines cheering us on!” 

The Royal Parks Half Marathon takes place on October 8th, 2017. To donate, click here.

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