Ambar’s mum Ranjit describes her as a placid baby who never cried. So when she developed her first cold at 18 months and it just didn’t go away, she became worried.
From that day onwards, Ambar repeatedly had a temperature spike, tonsillitis or a variety of other symptoms. Her parents were told time and time again that Ambar had a virus and there was nothing to worry about.
Then, one day when Ambar was almost two, she just stopped eating and walking. Ranjit had stayed home from work and when even sitting on the sofa watching her favourite film – Frozen – didn’t interest Ambar, she knew there was something seriously wrong.
She dialled 111 and an operator advised her to go to hospital. It was the right thing to do because later that day, a date she’ll never forget, 12 November 2014, Ranjit was given some dreadful news.
She said: “Ambar was sitting in the hospital bed not saying a word. Three doctors came and said they’d had her blood test results through. I knew something wasn’t right because they suggested a nurse sit with Ambar while we went to another room.”
One of the doctors said ‘we have to tell you every potential possibility. It could be leukaemia’. The whole room just blanked out. They carried on talking but all I heard was leukaemia. Tears were dripping down my face and I just couldn’t take it in.”
“My husband came back to the hospital and shortly after there were loads of consultants gathered round. They pulled back the curtain and one of them just looked at me and said I’m really sorry, it’s bad news, her bone marrow is riddled with cancer cells.”
“A piece of you dies when you hear something like that. I never want anyone else to go through it but I know they will. Only a parent who has experienced it knows how it feels.”
Ambar’s treatment for Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia began with an immediate blood transfusion. She then returned to hospital in December for chemotherapy, which became a regular routine for months.
“The whole thing was wonderful from beginning to end”
Something that helped Ambar and her family through the tough times was the excitement looking forward to her wish.
Ambar wasn’t very communicative at the time volunteers visited her at home to find out what her One True Wish might be. So her mum and dad decided they wanted to wish for something for her that they would never be able to do themselves.
As she loves dressing up and wanted to redesign her bedroom with the Frozen theme, they decided her wish would be to be a princess for the day!
When the day came, it was “just amazing!” Ambar’s hair had grown back and her feeding tube was out – it was arranged for Ambar to feel like a real princess at Peckforton Castle in Tarporley, Cheshire!
Ranjit said: “She was a little overwhelmed when the limousine arrived to pick us up but soon she was just giggling and laughing. When we saw the castle it was just wow – it was beautiful and hidden in the middle of nowhere.”
“The whole thing was wonderful from beginning to end. It was just perfect. My baby girl had her confidence knocked because of her illness but that day it started to come back.”
When she arrived, Ambar was greeted by princesses Elsa and Anna who took her off to have a makeover. She came back with her nails painted and a bit of make-up put on, and was given a crown, shoes, gloves and a beautiful dress to wear.
Next she was shown her special cake, she had a play with some play dough (which she loves!) and then had a little dance with the princesses.
The icing on the cake was when she got into a horse and carriage with Elsa and Anna and went for a trot round the castle grounds. Then she and her family spent the night there.
“It still brings a smile to my face”
Ranjit said: “My baby girl got to be a princess for the day! It still brings a smile to my face just thinking about it. It was something we could never have arranged ourselves.”
Ranjit is keeping a memory box of everything Ambar has experienced so that when she’s older and ready, she can tell her all about it and say: “There isn’t anything you can’t do in life because you’ve fought your biggest battle and that was cancer.”
Since the wish, Ranjit and her husband have fundraised for Make-A-Wish by having collection tins in Kul’s shops and post offices and Ranjit has also raised funds for Sheffield Hospital where Ambar was cared for, by climbing Snowdon and doing a skydive!
Ambar is now in remission having finished treatment and is "doing amazing". Ranjit added "Her confidence has come back as well as her appetite. Ambar is living proof that treatment does work and we were told that she has a less than 5% chance of the cancer coming back. Ambar continues to be our inspiration and role model and she still lives Frozen!"
This year, more than 25 children like Ambar will turn to us to help them unlock their imagination and transform them into whatever or whoever they wish to be. We need your help to raise £50,000 to ensure we can make every little superhero, princess and pirate's wish come true.