Cancer claims six-year-old Maple Ridge girl

The hardest thing for a parent to endure

Peter Short has learned, it’s always later than you think and there is never enough time.

The Maple Ridge dad thought he had four more months with his six-year-old daughter Kira who had been battling a tumour on her neck for two years.

But on Friday, a day after meeting with the doctors, when they told Peter that she had four more months, Kira lost the ability to speak.

Her condition worsened over the weekend as the tumour pressed on one of her main arteries and she died early Tuesday.

Peter had planned on taking Kira into Canuck Place Children’s Hospice the last week of July for treatment then began planning an early Christmas event in which the entire community was getting involved.

But she never left the hospice.

“The last thing we did together, we went camping up at Golden Ears,” Peter said Tuesday.

“She was in so much pain that, she looked at me and she said, ‘Dad, I just want to sleep. Wake me up so we can go camping again.’

“That’s the last thing I said to my daughter.”

Kira told her mum Rayanne Tupman she loved her and she didn’t want to be in pain anymore.

“We were told four months. We got three days,” said Peter.

Cancer is a cruel thing, he said.

“To watch your child in actual physical pain and suffering is the hardest thing for a parent to watch and witness,” he said Tuesday.

“Your natural reaction is to save them and protect them and you can’t. Hearing your kid cry out, ‘Help me’ … and you can’t do anything, is the hardest thing you’re going to ever have to watch.”

Peter’s dad died when he was eight and now the family is comforted that her granddad is looking after her.

He said it’s going to take time to grieve and take care of his son Jayden, 4. “He’s hurt,” said Peter.

Social media postings by Peter told the story in short comments that showed his frustration and grief.

But the help from people around Maple Ridge has helped a lot.

“The outpouring of support that Kira has had from the community is beyond anything that I ever expected. Kira couldn’t have been raised in a better city with the outpouring of support from everybody. The family is at a loss of words for what’s been shown,” Peter said.

A fundraiser (cars and motorcycles) Ride for Kira will go ahead as planned Sept. 17 at 10 a.m. with proceeds to help the family. Anything left over will go to another family facing the same thing, Peter added. It will also become an annual event.

Dozens have people have expressed their sympathy to the family.

“there are no words … ” said Tracey Bear on Facebook.

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