A ‘PROUD’ family have paid tribute to their ‘courageous’ seven-year-old daughter who has died following a long battle with a rare type of brain tumour.

Faith Sharpe, who was first diagnosed with Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG) in July 2015, died on Wednesday, 27 September.

Doctors said the seven-year-old Weyhill girl only had nine to 12 months to live after she was first diagnosed, but her family said she just kept ‘battling through’.

Faith’s mother, Laura, said the family always believed a cure would be found for Faith.

The 29-year-old said: “The thing is we knew it was coming but it’s still devastating.

“We also thought we’d find a way to beat it and we had to have hope.

“You have to have hope to be able to carry on and get through the day-to-day.

“We never lost hope - even on the day she passed away.

“We still had that hope she would fight what she was fighting.”

Faith had a seizure at the end of July, which meant she had to go to hospital and lost the ability to talk, walk and swallow.

The family then brought Faith home for the last ten weeks of her life.

Mrs Sharpe added that even then her daughter ‘defied the odds again’ after a palliative care doctor had to be called for twice during her last days at home.

She added: “Even then she battled through and in her own way said ‘no’.”

Her 30-year-old father, Nathan, added: “We’re so proud of her and she will continue to fight this because we’ve donated her tumour for research.

“We can finally say she is cancer free.

“Her legacy will live on in her two sisters and her soon to be baby brother.”

Faith’s family said she was a thoughtful girl who loved the colour was purple.

Her funeral, or ‘celebration of life’ as the family have called it, is being held at St Michael and All Angels Church, Weyhill on Friday, 13 October at noon.

Donations in Faith’s can be made to Northbrook Children and Young People’s Unit at the Royal Hampshire County Hospital, in Winchester.

Mrs Sharpe added: “We thank Dr Ian Rodd and the community nurses that came out everyday.

“I don’t know what we would’ve done without them.

“They’re truly outstanding, remarkable people. The love and care those nurses showed Faith was truly outstanding.”

Money raised from a gofundme drive set up by Faith’s parents, originally for their daughter to take part in a clinical trial, will now go towards DIPG charities.

Mrs Sharpe added: “No parent should have to go through this.”

The family is now urging for others to sign a petition to fund research into paediatric brain cancer and earlier access to experimental drugs.

For more information, go to petition.parliament.uk/petitions/200017.