The devastated parents of Chloe McNeil have spoken of their profound heartbreak on what would have been her 18th birthday.

Elaine and Mark McNeil should have been celebrating their beautiful girl’s milestone birthday on Saturday, September 2, but instead the couple were left grieving, bereft and broken following her death from a rare brain tumour in 2011. She was just 11-years-old.

Speaking on Saturday, Elaine said: “Today is Chloe’s 18th birthday and quite simply put we are heartbroken. I don’t have the energy to pretend that we are ok, that we are strong, to smile or write something positive about being glad for the 11 years we had - because it wasn’t enough, this just isn’t fair and today we are completely broken.

“There’s nothing else to say.”

The week before Chloe’s birthday, the couple hosted a spectacular fundraising ball at The Gailes.

Elaine said the evening was a huge success and everyone had a great time - but for her and Mark, the event was bittersweet. She told the Times:

“Everyone had a fabulous night, but Mark and I were in work mode. It was very challenging and very bittersweet for us. A few of Chloe’s schoolfriends were there which was lovely but also quite difficult for us to see them grown up and Chloe is not here.”

But she added: “The Irvine and Ayrshire community is just so incredibly supportive.

The prizes we had donated were just amazing and people could not have been more generous. The theme of the evening was gold to represent Childhood Cancer Awareness month which is September, so the timing was perfect. Everyone really came together for us which was very heartwarming.”

All 240 tickets for Chloe’s Birthday Ball sold out within two hours and followed a sponsored cycle by Chloe’s Chemoo Cows LEJOG Cycle team, lead by Chloe’s dad Mark, who cycled 1,000 miles over 12 days.

Between the two events the charity managed to raise a staggering £31,121.

The couple said the response left them “flabbergasted”, adding: “There are not enough words to express our gratitude.”