Dr Charlie Teo’s ‘miracle girl’ Milli Lucas will be laid to rest with a public service after the 14-year-old died from brain cancer.
The Perth teenager first made headlines when she was diagnosed with a brain tumour and flew to Sydney to be operated on by Dr Teo in June 2019.
Doctors had deemed it inoperable though Dr Teo managed to remove 98 per cent of the tumour and called her his ‘miracle girl’.
Sadly her cancer returned in March 2020 and Milli succumbed to her illness on Monday, four weeks after celebrating her 14th birthday.
Her mother Monica Smirk took to Facebook to announce the family would hold a public service at Perth’s Optus Stadium on Thursday.
It is the home of Milli’s favourite Fremantle Football Club and attendees have been asked to wear turquoise blue.
Dr Charlie Teo’s ‘miracle girl’ Milli Lucas will be laid to rest with a public service after the 14-year-old died from brain cancer
Her mother Monica Smirk took to Facebook to announce the family would hold a public service at Optus Stadium, which is the home of Milli’s favourite Fremantle Football Club, on Thursday
Optus Stadium the home of Milli’s favourite Fremantle Football Club and attendees have been asked to wear turquoise blue (pictured, Milli meets Fremantle Docker’s Nat Fyfe in June 2019)
Monica Smirk took to Facebook to invite the public to a service for her beloved daughter Milli Lucas
‘(Milli’s father) Grant Lucas and I have decided to have a public service because of all the beautiful support and love she had,’ Mrs Smirk wrote on Facebook.
‘The Fremantle Dockers have helped us prepare and we have booked Optus Stadium.’
Milli’s father Grant Lucas penned a heartbreaking tribute to his daughter following her death.
‘Love you baby, so broken,’ her father Grant Lucas wrote in a Facebook post on Wednesday morning.
‘I will never forget the bond we had coming into this world and the even stronger bond we had when you left our world.
‘You were an exceptional daughter who I loved with my everything.’
Dr Teo earlier issued a tribute to his ‘miracle girl’.
‘Milli’s legacy is simple but enlightening,’ he said.
‘When faced with adversity, you can be angry, resentful, bitter and consumed or you can accept the hand that you’ve been dealt and make the most of what you have.
‘She was an exceptional example of how to make the most of one’s life. Milli was dignified, courageous, happy, considerate and determined,’ he told the West Australian.
Her father Grant Lucas posted a gut-wrenching tribute to his daughter on Wednesday. ‘Love you baby, so broken,’ he wrote
Milli’s family have vowed to ensure her legacy will live on forever. Milli is pictured with her father
Milli won the hearts of many across Australia with her beaming smile and incredible zest for life
‘I loved her dearly.’
WA Premier Mark McGowan also paid tribute to the youngster, labelling her ‘a wonderful girl’.
Mrs Smirk confirmed the sad news to social media followers on Tuesday night as she spoke lovingly about her brave daughter.
Milli’s brave and hard fought cancer battle came to a heartbreaking end on Monday. Her mother shared this photo when she confirmed the sad news to online followers
Milli Lucas (pictured) made headlines around Australia known as Dr Teo’s ‘miracle girl’
‘Our hearts are broken, our angel is now flying high and the world will never be the same,’ she wrote.
‘Baby girl, you were the full package, smart, funny, athletic, beautiful and could sing like an angel.
‘That’s why they took you early. You had all lessons completed.’
Milli Lucas (left) pictured with sister Tess won hearts across Australia with her brave cancer battle
She vowed the family would ensure Milli’s legacy would live on forever.
‘Our love for you is never ending, our lives will never be the same,’ Ms Smirk continued.
‘Forever missed, but know you will be around us all the time. ‘You really were an Angel who now has her wings back.’
The Millstar Foundation will continue to help other families.
The post has been flooded with hundreds of heartfelt tributes.
Amelia ‘Milli’ Lucas (pictured recovering in hospital) had 98 per cent of her tumour removed in 2019 before the cancer returned in March last year
‘Milli, your fight, courage and strength was inspirational. Your family and friends showed love, strength and the willingness to never give up and to keep fighting on your behalf. Rest now and be at peace, your pain is gone,’ one person wrote.
One friend added: ‘Milli, you will be missed gonna miss u heaps. I miss our chats at the Fremantle Dockers games. I’m crying. I will never forget u Milli love u heaps sending heap of kisses and hugs to the family.’
Milli’s beloved AFL club Fremantle Dockers have also paid their respects.
‘Milli, you stole the purple heart of every Fremantle player, staff member and supporter. We are deeply saddened you are no longer with us…but you will always be FOREVER Freo. Our thoughts are with your family,’ the club posted.
Milli turned 14 on December 5, which she spent watching movies and swimming with friends and enjoyed a rainbow cake.
Milli’s mother Monica Smirk confirmed the heartbreaking news via Facebook on Tuesday night she had died
Her parents admitted at the time ‘sadness is coming’.
‘I remember lying in bed with Grant when Milli was first diagnosed and said to him if we can get our girl to 14 then that would be an amazing feat,’ Ms Smirk wrote.
‘We should have been so ecstatic and happy that we got her here, but in the back of our minds we know the sadness that is coming.
‘So hard to be happy, for both of us we tried and made sure she had an awesome day.’
Milli achieved her lifelong dream of skydiving a few weeks later and ‘loved every minute’.
Milli (pictured last month) died on Monday, just four weeks after celebrating her 14th birthday
‘Milli was spoilt rotten and there are so many incredible people out there that care and support her – we are very humble,’ Ms Smirk added.
‘So to everyone who has messaged, sent cards, given pressies and well wishes we are eternally grateful that Milli had an awesome day and gets her dream.’
Before her first surgery with Dr Teo, Milli was wheeled in knowing she may not walk, talk or see ever again.
Photos from her birthday in December show Milli sitting in a wheelchair with rainbow 14 balloons and a colourful birthday cake
But against all odds, the brave young schoolgirl proved to be a fighter following the ‘hugely successful’ operation.
Milli’s story made headlines in 2019 after generous family, friends and strangers raised more than $170,000 to help pay for the life-saving operation.
Many doctors declined to perform the operation on Milli – who was told she had just 12 weeks to live – as the tumour was in a high risk ‘no go zone’ of the brain.
Parents Monica Smirk and Grant Lucas have paid a heartbreaking tribute to their brave girl
Milli’s mum Monica Smirk said the family were able to mark Milli’s recent birthday thanks to the help of Dr Teo and their decision to go along with further treatment
However, Dr Teo offered to do the procedure before she travelled to Germany to get rid of the remaining two per cent.
Milli incredibly returned to school just weeks after her surgery.
The schoolgirl’s rare condition put her at risk of developing various types of cancer, which has also affected her older sister Tess, her mother and cousin Beau.
Tess was also diagnosed with a brain tumour but she has since been given the all-clear, while their mum – who has a family history of cancer – underwent a double mastectomy after she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2016.
A TIMELINE OF MILLI’S JOURNEY
January 2016: Milli, who has extremely rare Li-Fraumeni syndrome, is diagnosed with an aggressive and malignant brain tumour.
January 2016 – April 2019: The 12-year-old undergoes years of chemotherapy, radiotherapy and immunotherapy treatments to try and shrink the tumour.
April 2019: Doctors in Perth tell the Lucas Smirk family that her treatments are only getting larger and they can’t perform surgery on the brain stem because it is too risky. They put her into palliative care.
May 2019: The family were told she has just ‘weeks left to live’, Milli’s family start a GoFundMe page to raise $170,000 and visit renowned neurosurgeon Dr Charlie Teo in Sydney.
June 2019: Dr Teo removes 98 per cent of the tumour and Milli is awake 24 hours later.
July 2019: Milli spends four weeks in Germany attempting to remove the remaining two per cent of tissue.
August 2019: Milli and her sister Tess return to school as they await news about the tumour.
March 2020: Scans find a cancerous tumour has returned to Milli’s brain. She gets a puppy named Sprite to help her through the next part of her cancer journey.
April 2020: Milli was told she may not talk, walk and see again but she defied the odds after a gruelling eight-hour brain tumour surgery by Dr Teo.
October 2020: Milli returns home to Perth to be with her family
December 2020: Milli celebrated her 14th birthday watching movies and swimming with friends as her parents admit ‘sadness is coming’
January 2021: Milli dies aged just 14