Parents of identical twin baby girls tell how their world fell apart when an aggressive childhood cancer claimed both sisters’ lives
A devastated couple say their hearts and souls have been ‘broken forever’ by the deaths of their identical twin girls from the SAME aggressive cancer.
Tragic Neve and Belle Boitelle battled to survive after being born two months prematurely.
But their lives were cut tragically short after they were both diagnosed with infant acute lymphoblastic leukaemia at the age of just five months.
Neve died a month later aged six months and identical twin Belle survived nearly two years before dying in the arms of parents Clare and Darren aged two years and four months.
Clare said: “Our hearts and souls are forever broken. This has been a heart-wrenching journey with our beautiful, brave princesses, taken away from us so soon.
“Our lives won’t go back to the way they were before. We have lost both our girls, it’s devastating.”
The twins were cared for in the special care baby unit at St James’s Hospital in Leeds after their premature births on November 10, 2012.
Neve weighed 3lb and Belle 2lb 12oz and they spent just three months with their parents and brother Hiro, now seven, before the devastating diagnoses.
Neve started refusing feeds, appeared pale and developed two black eyes and bruising on her body.
She was taken to Leeds General Infirmary on May 5 2013 when her family were told she was suffering from infant acute lymphoblastic leukaemia.
The couple asked doctors to examine Belle as she displaying similar symptoms and were devastated when she was diagnosed with the same cancer on the same day.
Neve had 15 days of intensive chemotherapy treatment before losing her fight for life at just six-months-old on May 20 2013.
Belle spent her first and second birthdays at Leeds General Infirmary as she continued to fight the cancer.
Tragically, Belle succumbed to the illness on March 25 this year when she died in her parents’ arms in intensive care at LGI aged two-years-and-four-months.
Belle was taken to Martin House Children’s Hospice to allow her parents to spend time with her before a funeral was arranged.
Mrs Boitelle had to leave her job as a marketing manager after the double diagnoses and her husband quit his hairdressing job as they became full-time carers in hospital while also looking after Hiro.
The grieving parents have now pledged to raise cash for cancer charities and awareness of infant acute lymphoblastic leukaemia in memory of their “inspirational” daughters.
They have so far raised around #3,000 and are appealing for more donations for childhood cancer charity Candlelighters, Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research, Martin House Chi|dren’s Hospice, and CLIC Sargent.