HUNDREDS of people turned out to bid little Niamh Power a final farewell, after she lost her final battle with a recurring brain tumour.
The nine-year-old made her final journey in a white coffin, decorated with hearts, butterflies and dolphins.
St Joseph’s Church in Dinnington filled with well-wishers as dad Simon, aged 35, and mum Marie, 40, arrived to say goodbye to their little girl.
In a message posted on the website they set up to raise money for Niamh’s treatment, they said: “If only we could all be as brave, and as resilient, as Niamh, life would be very different.
“Already we miss her more than you can ever imagine.”
Niamh, a pupil at St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School in Dinnington and little sister to Sebastian, 11, underwent three operations and endless bouts of chemotherapy and radiotherapy as doctors tried to eradicate the recurring astrocytoma tumour in her brain.
But, despite their efforts, the deadly mass kept coming back.
The people of South Yorkshire rallied to Niamh’s cause, raising thousands of pounds in a bid to find a treatment that would work.
Her family, of Maple Avenue, Maltby, hired a medical consultant in London and at one point considered sending their daughter to America.
Earlier this year they registered Niamh on a clinical trial in Leeds.
But it was too late.
Scans revealed the tumour was growing back for a fourth time and Niamh passed away at Bluebell Woods Children’s Hospice just after 7am on Friday July 6.
Niamh’s parents have publicly thanked supporters - many of them strangers whom they never met - for their generosity.
They said: “Our thanks to all those who have helped and would have helped had they been able.
“On a practical note, there are some surplus funds and when things settle down we will make donations in memory of Niamh to Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice and some of the children’s cancer charities.
“Over the coming months and years we will also be getting involved in some fundraising for Bluebell Wood.
“A friend said, ‘our loss is Heaven’s gain’, and we take some small comfort from that.”