“Dear Millie, I am writing you this letter in the hope that life has afforded you the opportunity to grow old enough to read it…”
So starts the most extraordinary diary about a seven-year-old girl and her family, violently thrown into the most dreaded abyss when they discover she has cancer in the form of a malignant brain tumour.
On the morning of 5th April 2013, Millie wakes up complaining of ‘fuzziness’ in her eyes. This very quickly turns to loss of vision. Within the next two days Millie will undergo her first eight-hour craniotomy (brain operation) to preserve the little eyesight she has left. Within four days, by now blind, she will be diagnosed with cancer, and within a fortnight she will begin her first cycle of aggressive chemotherapy. Over the course of the six months that follow, Millie will undertake two further brain operations, three additional cycles of chemotherapy and thirty sessions of radiotherapy – 4,000 miles away from home.
This diary is her story, the intimate tale of her illness in three parts (Hell, Purgatory and Heaven). It is recounted by her father as his gift to Millie, so that she can read it at an age when she will be old enough to understand the enormity of the immeasurable suffering she had to endure, and the extraordinary courage with which she did it.
Dear Millie is not just based on a true story – it is a true story. It is an extraordinary tale of suffering, destruction, resilience and, ultimately, rebirth. In support of Great Ormond Street Hospital, Marco Previero has pledged to donate all royalties to this charity in order to contribute to the ongoing effort to help other children, now and in the future, in fighting this most deadly of afflictions and its devastating consequences.