WHEN little Amber Bentley was three she starting having headaches.
It turned out the Almondbury youngster had a brain tumour the size of a fist.
Her mother, Karen, can remember her daughter curled up in a ball, screaming in pain.
Doctors said it was migraine, but Karen, 31, and husband Paul, 34, of Saxton Place, knew it was something more serious.
And in March, 2004, when Amber was still just four, doctors found the tumour putting pressure on her brain.
But now the treatment has been successful and Amber has been able to return to school.
Paul said that when the diagnosis was made his world fell apart.
"When the doctor said she had a tumour and there was a 50-50 chance she would die I collapsed," he said.
"I was physically sick right there. Then I just could not cope with what I was being told.
"I don't fully remember what happened for the next few weeks.
"On the Sunday before the operation the next day we had Amber christened, because we thought we might never have a chance otherwise. It felt like a funeral.
"We asked the doctor if we could at least take her out of the hospital for a little while to McDonald's, to have some kind of celebration.
"But it was awful. I looked at it like a last supper."
Karen coped very differently. She refused to accept that her daughter would not soon be out of her hospital bed and playing with her friends and little sister Elle, three.
She said: "Everyone else fell apart, so I had to stay positive. Of course I had dark moments on my own, but in public I kept it together."
After the 11-hour operation the doctors at Leeds General Infirmary told the family it had been a success, but it would be weeks before they would find out if the tumour was cancerous.
"The wait was hell all over again," said Paul. "Amber had been through this awful ordeal and could not talk or walk for weeks after the operation - and still we did not know if she would live or die.
"When the results came back we were told it was mostly benign, but with some cancer cells."
The tumour Amber battled is called a pylomixoid astrocytoma. Because some cancerous cells were found she has to have scans every six months and check-ups every three.
But now she is happily back at Greenside Infant and Nursery School on Fernside Avenue.
Karen added: "Of course the doctors have not ruled anything out and we have been told it will be at least eight years before she is fully out of the woods.
"But we are positive and it is a joy to see her doing so well," said Karen, who had to give up her job in a supermarket to care for Amber.
"I saw her run up some stairs just the other day and it brought a tear to my eye. Just the simple things make a huge difference."
Now the family are planning to raise money for the Andrea's Gift charity, which is the only one in the UK to pay for research into childhood brain tumours.
Already they have organised raffles and they say there is more to come.
If you would like to give money to Andrea's Gift or find out how you can help log on to www.andreasgift.org.uk or call 01274 785092.