COURAGEOUS Niamh Curry inspired her parents with her smile and her bravery throughout her battle with cancer.
The five-year-old from Wellingborough had been fighting neuroblastoma before her tragic death on Sunday night.
Her parents, Chris and Sam Curry, paid tribute to their brave daughter who had shown incredible courage throughout her 18-month battle with the illness.
They launched the Niamh’s Next Step campaign in January to try to raise £450,000 to take Niamh for specialist treatment in America.
The Evening Telegraph reported on Saturday that the campaign had topped £300,000 after countless people volunteered to organise fundraising events.
But after being hospitalised with pneumonia for the past month, Niamh lost her battle with the disease.
On Sunday night, Mr Curry tweeted: “Tonight my brave beautiful little girl Niamh lost her fight with cancer. I am so proud of her and will miss her so much.”
Speaking to the Evening Telegraph yesterday, Mr Curry said: “She was kind, she was sweet and caring – she inspired us every single day of the fight that she went through. She fought for 18 months with a smile on her face every day.
“She was an amazing, brave little girl. I am so proud of her.”
He said the family had been overwhelmed by the support they had received during the campaign to raise money for Niamh’s appeal.
He added: “I haven’t had much time to think about what we are going to do yet, but we have got to keep it going and use this platform to raise awareness of this cancer, and for treatment and research.
“I have read the tweets from people and it’s overwhelming. She didn’t understand how much she touched people – we don’t understand it.
“She was just a normal little girl, but everyone has taken her to their hearts and it brought the county’s people together to help raise this money.
“Although Niamh lost her fight, the money will help raise awareness or pay for another little boy or girl to have treatment in the future.”
Niamh attended Little Harrowden Primary School, where her seven-year-old sister Hannah is also a pupil.
Staff and pupils at the school were all left saddened by the news yesterday.
Headteacher Jacinta Foo said: “We are all devastated at the news that Niamh lost her battle against neuroblastoma on Sunday evening.
“Niamh was an utterly charming and delightful member of our school community – always chatty, smiling and playful. The courage, resilience and strength showed by Niamh has been an inspiration to us all. At this difficult time our thoughts and prayers are with Niamh’s family.”