Crowds lined the approach road to West Herts Crematorium in Garston yesterday afternoon to pay tribute to little Luna Petagine, who passed away following a four year battle with cancer.

The five-year-old, of Raglan Gardens in Oxhey, died at home in the early hours of Wednesday, August 8, with her parents Mario and Lucy by her side.

After being diagnosed with an ependymoma brain tumour four years ago, she bravely battled the illness, undergoing many bouts of treatment and therapy.

Family, friends and mourners  dressed in pink gathered together at West Herts to celebrate the life of the remarkable youngster.

Luna’s body was presented to rest in a wicker coffin painted with coloured bubbles. Her father was among the pallbearers.

The service was led by Father Jim Duffy, who had baptised Luna.

Luna’s aunt delivered the eulogy and said: “When Luna came into the world she was the most beautiful girl I had ever seen. With older brother Aldo it became obvious who was going to be the boss. She was strong, feisty and beautiful.

“Five weeks after Enza (her sister) came along, Luna became sick very quickly but Lucy and Mario never gave up and we are so proud of them. Even though they were tired they never stopped, they never tired of fighting.

“In all we have been through as a family in the past four years we’ve laughed more than we have cried, we never gave up and we believed Luna would be fine.

“This wasn’t how we thought it would turn out but we are sure she’s up there causing mischief and mayhem.

“Our lives will never be the same and there will always be something missing. We will never forget Luna.”

The youngster first came to public notice after her family appealed to Watford Observer readers for donations to help fund potentially life-saving treatment at a clinic in Texas.

Many responded to the family’s pleas, raising thousands of pounds through fundraising and donations.

More than £100,000 was raised in just eight weeks, enabling Luna to travel to the US in September last year to undergo treatment.

A month into her therapy, an MRI revealed the tumour had grown, causing her breathing problems and facial palsy.

Luna was admitted to intensive care in Texas Children’s Hospital and her parents made the decision to take her home, to continue treatment under a local consultant.