Today is World Cancer Day and it is very close to home to us, as unfortunately it is to many families. This time I have some good news though. Yesterday was the first day of the rest of my beautiful niece’s life! On Tuesday, Olivia saw the end of nine months of chemotherapy, surgery, blood transfusions and radiotherapy and got to ring the end of treatment bell on Rainbow Ward signalling her victory over Stage 4 cancer.
Many of you here will know her story but for those of you who don’t she was taken to hospital after falling and hurting her side, banging it on a cabinet. After passing a lot of blood after the fall she was scanned where they found a tumour in her kidney. Olivia had not been unwell up to that point, she had complained of tummy ache a few times and was tired, but she had just started full time school and was eating, drinking, playing etc all normally. Luckily she did fall as after scanning her whole body, they found cancer cells had spread to her lungs. She was transferred to the wonderful Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospital for Wales, where she immediately began chemotherapy and on the evening of her 5th birthday was taken back in to have her kidney removed and start radiotherapy.
That Bank holiday weekend last May turned our world upside down, but Livvs showed us all the way forward with her courage, resilience and beautiful smile which never left her at the darkest of times. She has touched and inspired so many people, who in turn have donated blood (thank you so much to my friends who have) and raised so much money for Latch in her name. I’m so proud of Livvs, my sister and brother in law for the way they have overcome all of this and to my two gorgeous nephews who have dealt with everything with such maturity and love for their little sister.
It has been so hard moving away from them at such a difficult time, but knowing the support that my family back home has had from friends and the wider community has helped. They have all been amazing and it won’t be forgotten, neither will the wonderful staff at Noah’s Ark and Velindre hospital. This past nine months has been an emotional roller coaster and I’m not sure I could have coped aswell as my sister has. She is one amazing woman and her strength has most certainly been passed on to my niece. Today it finally feels like a weight has been lifted and our beautiful girl can start to get back to being a normal 5 year old.
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