Alegra’s legacy lives on years after she lost her battle with brain cancer aged 6

·

Sue-Ellan Hatzakos Vasiliou’s daughter, Alegra, was like any normal five-year-old. She was beautiful, caring and, as her mother says, she had the ‘most amazing brain.’

“She would remember everything. She knew who bought her what present and what they were wearing when they gave it to her. And we would ask her, ‘How do you remember all this stuff?’ and her response was, ‘because I care’,” Sue-Ellan tells The Greek Herald.

But just before Christmas in 2016, Sue-Ellan and her husband Marino took Alegra to the local doctor after they noticed the left side of her mouth would drop when she smiled.

The subsequent MRI scans showed what no parents should ever have to endure: Alegra had brain cancer.

Sue-Ellan and Marino turned to Dr Charlie Teo to perform brain surgery on Alegra. Photo: little legs foundation.

Not ready to give up hope, the parents turned to Dr Charlie Teo who said he could remove a significant amount of the tumour. Following the surgery, Alegra had to undergo radiation therapy every day for six weeks at the Sydney Children’s Hospital in Randwick.

The initial results from this treatment were looking good as the tumour had shrunk. In fact, Alegra appeared to be on the road to recovery until August 2017 when she started to complain of back pain.

“It was just a week after she had her last check up with oncology, where they were all amazed with the results. But for reasons that we still struggle to understand, something had changed in what tumour was left and it had turned aggressive and was in her spinal fluid,” Sue-Ellan says.

Sue-Ellan says her daughter Alegra had the most ‘amazing brain.’ Photo: little legs foundation.

“The doctors gave us days. Alegra gave us seven weeks at home… so we could spend time with her and her younger siblings as well.”

Alegra slowly lost the ability to walk and sadly passed away on October 7, 2017, at the tender age of six.

From grief grows the little legs foundation:

Sue-Ellan says one of the ‘hardest things to stomach’ from Alegra’s battle with brain cancer was being told there was no further treatment that could save her life.

“As parents, we’re supposed to be able to protect our kids. The fact that she wasn’t able to even try to fight… I think that’s hard because it’s just not fair,” Sue-Ellan explains.

It was due to this frustration, as well as the need to preserve Alegra’s memory, that her parents founded the little legs foundation in May 2018.

Sue-Ellan and Marino founded the little legs foundation in 2018 in honour of Alegra (bottom right). Photo: little legs foundation.

Together with their ambassadors, artist Sid Tapia, Emmanuel Tsakiris of House of Emmanuele and fashion designer Alex Perry, the foundation has pledged to raise awareness and funds for childhood brain cancer research.

“I want to give other children hope… and I want Alegra to be known to the world as well because she is such a special little girl that I would hate for her to be forgotten,” Sue-Ellan says.

To date, giving children hope and honouring Alegra’s memory is exactly what the foundation has been doing.

It has already committed $1.14 million to childhood brain cancer research through the Alegra’s Army Grant, which is set up in conjunction with the Charlie Teo Foundation. A special Alegra’s Army edition of Monopoly has also been created, with the funds provided to cancer researchers to help them continue their vital work.

But even more recently, Sue-Ellan says she’s incredibly excited for their upcoming Coffee for a Cure event, which is running from September 18 – 19 this year. $1 from each coffee cup sold will be donated to the foundation.

Some of the initiatives launched by the little legs foundation. Photo: little legs foundation.

“Last year we had 65 cafes on board and sold 12,000 cups. This year we’ve got 80 cafes on board and have already sold 19,500 cups,” Sue-Ellan explains.

“We were a bit hesitant with COVID and some people obviously having a tough time, but we just kind of put it out there… and everyone is very supportive. I think it’s going to be a very good couple of days.”

And many would add that it will also be a very busy few days. But Sue-Ellan says she couldn’t picture herself doing anything else.

“It’s not easy. We’re grieving at the same time as trying to make a difference. But… I can’t imagine not doing something for Alegra. So this is how I’m able to do something for her every day and as hard as it is, it keeps us going as well,” she says.

With such passion and determination, it really is no surprise that Sue-Ellan was also nominated as a Westfield Local Hero this year. We wish her and her family all the best in their future fundraising endeavours!

Advertisement

Share:

KEEP UP TO DATE WITH TGH

By subscribing you accept our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Advertisement

Latest News

Fresco of Helen of Troy uncovered at Pompeii

Nearly 2,000 years since it was buried by volcanic rubble, the lost city of Pompeii is yielding even more impressive discoveries.

New casual Greek restaurant brings meze and cocktails to Adelaide’s CBD

Andrew Papadakis, the visionary who founded and successfully sold Meze Mazi, returns to the vibrant Adelaide restaurant scene.

Two Greek women included in ’30 Under 30′ Forbes list

In this year's European Forbes "30 Under 30" list, two exceptional Greek women have managed to stand out for their successful paths.

2,300-year-old tomb unearthed in Greece

A tomb in the ancient Macedonian city of Aegae in modern Vergina, Greece,  has been unearthed according to an All That’s Interesting report.

Yorgos Lanthimos’ new movie ‘Kinds of Kindness’ included in Cannes lineup

New films from Yorgos Lanthimos, Andrea Arnold and Francis Ford Coppola, will compete for the Palme d’Or at the 77th Cannes Film Festival.

You May Also Like

Peter Dutton MP joins Greek community in celebrating Easter

The leader of the opposition Peter Duton has sent a messege to the Greek community ahead of the Easter Celebration, through The Greek Herald.

Greece records 80 percent drop in migrant arrivals in 2020

The number of refugees and migrants arriving in Greece dropped 80 percent in 2020, according to an annual report by the Migration Ministry published on Tuesday.

Victorian State Election 2022: The Australians of Greek heritage who claim victory

At least three Australian candidates of Greek heritage have claimed victory in the Victorian state elections this year.