Tragically, Milli Lucas’ mother, Monica Smirk, is diagnosed with terminal melanoma after Dr. Charlie Teo’s “Miracle Girl” has died of brain cancer
- The mother of a cancer victim has melanoma
- Doctors assess treatment options
- Daughter Milli died of cancer in 2021
The mother of a beloved teenager who has been diagnosed with brain cancer has revealed she has end-stage melanoma.
Monica Smirk said she was aware of lumps in her back but delayed a biopsy because she was fighting to save her daughter Milli Lucas, who was being treated by controversial neurosurgeon Dr. Charlie Teo was operated on.
Milli Lucas was a 14-year-old girl who captured the hearts of Australians across the country during her battle with brain cancer in 2019.
She was made by Dr. Charlie Teo has surgery and was nicknamed “Wonder Girl”. Although the surgery added a few years to her life, she succumbed to her cancer in 2021.
Following that tragedy, Ms Smirk revealed she is battling end-stage melanoma after discovering inoperable tumors on her back late last year.
Monica Smirk (pictured left with daughter Milli Lucas) has been diagnosed with advanced melanoma
She described her diagnosis as “terrifying,” particularly concerned about the impact it would have on her other children, Joel, and cancer survivor Tess, 13 and 19.
“They are everything, they are my world, so I stand up for them,” she said the western australian.
“I’m trying to be as normal as possible, coping with life and moving on to show my kids that unfortunately this is our life and we can’t change it, but you have to stay strong and live it anyway.”
In 2016, Tess had a brain tumor similar to Milli’s and was able to fight off the disease, albeit at the cost of most of her vision.
The family suffers from the extremely rare genetic Li-Fraumeni Syndrome, which significantly increases the risk of cancer over the lifetime of a carrier.
Ms Smirk said she was “devastated”. Her current condition, in which doctors have found fluid in her lungs, prevents her from flying to Sydney, where Tess is awaiting the results of a worrying annual check-up.
More scans will be carried out for Ms Smirk in October while doctors decide how to proceed with her treatment.
The family will continue their fundraising efforts, which first gained prominence when they raised $170,000 for Dr. Theo collected.
Through the Millstar Foundation, they want to open an alternative, holistic cancer treatment center in WA in Milli’s honor.
To this end, Ms. Smirk and her close friend Cara Booth created a raffle with $13,000 in prizes up for grabs, including many autographed items from AFL team Fremantle Dockers, the team Milli has faithfully followed.
dr Teo has proven to be a lightning conductor for controversy for performing high-risk surgeries, such as that on Mill, that other surgeons consider inoperable.
Ms Smirk said she was devastated at not being able to fly over to support her daughter Tess, who is awaiting the results of the worrying inquest
Western Australians raised $170.00 for Milli’s operation by controversial brain surgeon Charlie Teo
Earlier this month, the Health Complaints Commission found that Dr. Teao had failed to properly educate two of his patients about the risks associated with “experimental” surgeries from which they did not recover.
The restrictions imposed by the HCCC, including the requirement to obtain permission from fellow surgeons prior to surgery, have Dr. Teo forced to admit his career in Australia is over and he has to operate overseas.
In an extensive interview for Channel Seven last Sunday, Dr. Teo blamed “a vocal minority of neurosurgeons who want to destroy me, my reputation and my ability to practice in Australia and around the world”.
He claimed that his colleagues wanted to sack him for making them look “idiots” when removing tumors they described as inoperable and that he may be the victim of prejudice because of his Chinese ancestry.
The surgeon’s fans plan to walk across the Sydney Harbor Bridge in protest on September 17 to show their support.
“Many have asked what you can do to show your support… Well I would be honored if you would join me in solidarity on the Sydney Harbor Bridge,” wrote Dr. Teo a week ago to the supporters.
A timeline of Milli’s journey
January 2016: Milli, who suffers from the extremely rare Li-Fraumeni syndrome, is diagnosed with an aggressive and malignant brain tumor.
January 2016 – April 2019: The 12-year-old is undergoing years of chemotherapy, radiation therapy and immunotherapy to shrink the tumor.
April 2019: Doctors in Perth tell the Lucas Smirk family that their treatments are expanding and they cannot perform brainstem surgery because it is too risky. They placed her in palliative care.
May 2019: The family were told they had “only a few weeks to live”. Milli’s family started a GoFundMe page to raise $170,000 and visited renowned neurosurgeon Dr. Charlie Teo in Sydney.
June 2019: dr Teo removes 98 percent of the tumor and Milli is awake 24 hours later.
July 2019: Milli spends four weeks in Germany trying to remove the remaining two percent of the tissue.
August 2019: Milli and her sister Tess return to school and await news about the tumor.
March 2020: Scans show a cancerous tumor has returned to Milli’s brain. She gets a puppy named Sprite to help her on the next part of her cancer journey.
April 2020: Milli was told she might not be able to talk, walk or see anymore, but after a grueling eight-hour brain tumor surgery by Dr. Teo defied all odds.
October 2020: Milli returns to Perth to be with her family
December 2020: Milli celebrated her 14th birthday, watching movies and swimming with friends while her parents admit ‘the sadness is coming her way’
January 2021: Milli dies at the age of 14