Milli Lucas’ mother, Monica Smirk, is diagnosed with terminal melanoma in a tragic shock after Dr. Charlie Teo’s ‘miracle girl’ died of brain cancer.
- Mom of cancer victim has melanoma
- Physicians evaluating treatment options
- My daughter Milli died of cancer in 2021
The mother of a much-loved teenager who succumbed to brain cancer has revealed that she is battling terminal melanoma.
Monica Smirk said she knew about the lumps on her back but delayed having a biopsy amid the fight to save her daughter Milli Lucas, who was operated on by controversial neurosurgeon Dr. Charlie Teo.
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 operated on by Dr. Charlie Teo and nicknamed his ‘miracle girl’, and although the surgery extended her life for a few years, she succumbed to her cancer in 2021.
In the wake of this tragedy, Ms Smirk revealed that she is battling terminal melanoma after discovering inoperable tumors on her back late last year.
Monica Smirk (pictured left with her daughter Milli Lucas) has been diagnosed with advanced melanoma
She described her diagnosis as ‘horrible’ with particular concern for how it would affect her other children Joel, 13, and Tess, a 19-year-old cancer survivor.
“They are everything, they are my world, so I stand up for them,” he said. western australia.
I try to be as normal as possible and deal with life and move on, to show my kids that unfortunately this is our life and we can’t change it but you have to stay strong and you still have to live it.
In 2016, Tess had brain cancer similar to Milli’s and was able to contain the disease, but at the cost of most of her eyesight.
The family suffers from the extremely rare genetic Li-Fraumeni syndrome, which greatly increases the wearer’s lifetime risk of cancer.
Ms Smirk said she was “devastated” that her current condition, where doctors found fluid in her lungs, prevents her from flying to Sydney, where Tess is awaiting the results of a worrying annual scan.
There will be more scans for Ms. Smirk in October while the doctors decide how to proceed with her treatment.
The family will continue their fundraising efforts, which first gained prominence when they raised $170,000 in 2019 for Dr. Teo to operate on Milli.
Through the Millstar Foundation, her goal is to open an alternative holistic cancer treatment center in WA in Milli’s honor.
Ms. Smirk and her close friend Cara Booth launched a raffle to achieve this goal which has $13,000 in prizes, including many items signed by AFL team the Fremantle Dockers, the team Milli devotedly followed.
Dr. Teo has proven to be a lightning rod for controversy due to his practice of performing high-risk procedures, like Mill’s, that are considered inoperable by other surgeons.
Ms Smirk said she is devastated that she won’t be able to fly to help her daughter Tess, who is awaiting the results of a worrying scan.
Western Australians raised $170.00 for Milli to be operated on by controversial neurosurgeon Charlie Teo
Earlier this month, the Health Care Complaints Commission found that Dr. Teao failed to adequately inform two of his patients about the risks associated with ‘experimental’ operations from which they did not recover.
The restrictions imposed by the HCCC, including permission from his fellow surgeons before operating, have forced Dr. Teo to admit that his career in Australia is over and he will have to operate abroad.
In an extended interview for Channel Seven last Sunday, Dr Teo blamed ‘a vocal minority of neurosurgeons’ who are looking to destroy me, my reputation and my ability to practice in Australia and around the world’ for the restrictions.
He claimed that his colleagues wanted to remove him because he made them look ‘idiots’ when he removed tumors they called inoperable and also that he might be a victim of prejudice due to his Chinese ancestry.
Fans of the surgeon intend to cross the Sydney Harbor Bridge on September 17 in protest to show their support.
‘Many have asked what they can do to show their support… Well I would be honored if you would join me in solidarity on the Sydney Harbor Bridge,’ Dr Teo wrote to supporters a week ago.
MILLI’S TRIP SCHEDULE
January 2016: Milli, who has an extremely rare Li-Fraumeni syndrome, is diagnosed with an aggressive and malignant brain tumor.
January 2016 – April 2019: The 12-year-old boy undergoes years of chemotherapy, radiation therapy and immunotherapy treatments to try to shrink the tumor.
April 2019: Doctors in Perth tell the Lucas Smirk family that their treatments are only getting bigger and they can’t do brain stem surgery because it’s too risky. They put her in hospice care.
May 2019: Told the family had only ‘weeks to live’ left, Milli’s family opened a GoFundMe page to raise $170,000 to visit renowned neurosurgeon Dr Charlie Teo in Sydney.
June 2019: Dr. Teo removes 98 percent of the tumor and Milli wakes up 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 while waiting for news about the tumor.
March 2020: Scans find that a cancerous tumor has returned in Milli’s brain. She gets a puppy named Sprite to help her in the next part of her journey against cancer.
April 2020: Milli was told she couldn’t talk, walk or see again, but she defied the odds after a grueling eight-hour brain tumor surgery performed by Dr. Teo.
October 2020: Milli returns to Perth to be with her family
December 2020: Milli celebrated her 14th birthday by watching movies and swimming with friends as her parents admit ‘the blues are coming’
January 2021: Milli dies at 14