A nine-year-old girl has been diagnosed with an aggressive cancer.

Evie-lily Smithers, from Hastings, who has Down’s syndrome, was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia last week after she came home from school with a cough the week before.

Her dad Steve told The Argus: “A couple of weeks ago Evie-lily came home from school with a cough and she was a bit chesty, so we gave her some medicine and put her to bed.

“The next day she was coughing more and struggling to breathe so I drove her to Conquest Hospital's A&E.”

The Argus: Evie-lily lights up a room, her older brother saidEvie-lily lights up a room, her older brother said (Image: Steve Smithers)

At the hospital in Hastings, Evie-lily was given steroids and was then sent home.

But her dad knew she still wasn’t her usual self.

“We took her to the GP who examined her and revealed she had a chest and throat infection and tonsillitis.

“She was given a course of antibiotics.”

But Evie-lily was still unwell and looked “pale and lethargic”.

The Argus: Evie-lily, usually full of life, was pale and lethargicEvie-lily, usually full of life, was pale and lethargic (Image: Steve Smithers)

“She is usually full of life so to see her like that was worrying,” said Steve, a self-employed gardener.

Tests at the Kipling Ward in Conquest Hospital revealed she had leukaemia.

On Thursday, October 12, she was transferred to Royal Marsden, a specialist cancer hospital in Sutton, Surrey, where doctors confirmed she had acute myeloid leukaemia, which progresses quickly.

Steve said: “Thankfully it is treatable and doctors are hoping for a positive outcome.

“But we are having to be up in Surrey for six months.

“I am self-employed so it is going to be difficult.”

The Argus: Evie-lily will be at Royal Marsden hospital in Sutton, Surrey, for six monthsEvie-lily will be at Royal Marsden hospital in Sutton, Surrey, for six months (Image: Steve Smithers)

Now, Steve and his family are raising money to support her and the family.

Writing on a fundraising page, her brother Louis said: "Evie-lily has been fighting her whole life but has unfortunately been thrown another challenge to overcome.

“Evie is an extraordinary person who makes everyone smile and lights up a room. We are trying to raise funds to help get her some toys, clothes and other essentials she is going to need on her road to recovery.

“We need help with the cost of living to be near her through this battle she has to fight, every little amount will help so thank you all so much for your kindness.”

At the time of writing, the fundraiser, set at £500, had more than £2,000 raised by nearly 100 donors.