Canberra mum's heartwrenching goodbye to 5yo daughter Annabelle Potts with brain tumour

Annabelle Potts with mother Kathie Griffiths
Annabelle Potts with mother Kathie Griffiths. Photo credit: Love for Annabelle / Facebook

The little Australian girl whose battle with a brain tumour helped inspire the viral 'lemon face challenge' has died aged five.

Canberra native Annabelle Potts was diagnosed with Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG) in 2016. The aggressive tumour, which most commonly affects children between five and nine years old, was deemed too dangerous to remove by UK doctors.

Annabelle's parents, Kathie and Adam Griffiths, decided to move the family to Mexico in mid-2017 so she could undergo experimental treatment not available in Australia.

The intra-arterial chemotherapy costs AUD$25,000 (NZ$26,500) per session, prompting the family to start a GoFundMe which has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The youngster's courageous fight attracted a lot of media attention, and inspired many to take the 'lemon face challenge' in which participants film themselves eating wedges of lemon and making a sour face. The challenge, which was taken up by members of the Australia Capital Territory Police among others, was designed to encourage people to donate to the fight against DIPG.

Sadly, Annabelle died on Wednesday morning (local time).

In a heartwrenching post to the Facebook page 'Love for Annabelle - which more than 10,000 people had liked - Mrs Griffiths penned a tribute to her young daughter.

"She left us quickly and peacefully," she wrote.

"I won't say you gained your angel wings, as you already had them on Earth. Everyone whose life you touched knows how generous and selfless you are. There are no adequate words to describe your beautiful heart. I am so incredibly privileged to have been your mother.

"Your suffering has ended and ours has begun, a burden we will carry to know you are at peace, watching over us."

Many people wrote emotional responses to the post remembering Annabelle.

"Such an amazing little girl taken way too early," wrote one woman.

Another posted a photo of her own son wearing a 'Love for Annabelle' t-shirt.

Some thanked the Griffiths for campaigning to raise awareness of DIPG, and many of the commenters were parents whose own children had the disease.


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