Mother and toddler die of same cancer only months apart

Sara Chivers, who died in January, and Alfie Chivers, who died on Monday.
Sara Chivers, who died in January, and Alfie Chivers, who died on Monday. Photo credit: Instagram / Sara Chivers

A two-year-old boy from Melbourne has died of brain cancer, just months after his mother passed away with the same diagnosis.

Alfie Chivers died on Monday night after a short battle with an atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumour. His mother, Sara Chivers, died on January 28 after a nine-year battle with the same type of tumour.

Sara's death came only two months after receiving Alfie's diagnosis. She had spent her last few months alive trying to raise awareness for the cancer in an effort to find a cure for him, even penning a letter to Vogue Australia speaking out about her journey.

"There are no words that do justice to the way in which our hearts have been shattered for our beautiful little boy," Sara wrote.

"Blood tests could not find an inherited genetic mutation, so this may just be the most horrible of coincidences. Lightning can strike twice.

"He needs me to champion his cause. He needs me to be strong. He will be my legacy. He needs me to keep on living."

The pair have left behind heartbroken father, Leigh Chivers, and Alfie's older brother Hugh Chivers.

On Tuesday Mr Chivers posted to Instagram about his "little man".

"We love you forever," he wrote, alongside a picture of Alfie.

Before her death Sara had published a heart-wrenching letter to Alfie and Hugh, saying she was "forever grateful" to have had them.

"I won't be around to see you grow up," she wrote.

"You will have to hear from others the little things that made me me: my perfume of choice is Michael Kors, my favourite meal is spaghetti bolognese, winter is my preferred season."

She went on to give them snippets of advice that she wanted them to hear from her.

"Always try your best; I could never ask any more of you. Never fear failure  you will learn more from mistakes than successes.

"I can never emphasise enough the importance of good table manners. Remember to say please and thank you. Address your friends' parents by Mrs, Ms or Mr unless told otherwise.

"Be kind to your Dad. It won't be easy for him raising you alone, but every decision he makes will be with your best interests at heart... There will come a time when he wants to find happiness again with a new partner. Accept and embrace his choice, and know she will be a positive female influence in your lives too."