Keira Wrenn, the young Alford girl battling cancer, has beaten the odds to celebrate her seventh birthday this week – one year after being diagnosed with the disease.
On September 1, friends and neighbours got together in Keira’s honour and released 50 gold balloons to mark the beginning of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.
Keira’s mother, Emma, has thanked people in Alford and Louth for their support - including raising the cash for Keira to visit Disneyland Paris back in January.
Emma and her husband, Don, told the Leader that they never thought they would see their daughter reach her seventh birthday, which she celebrates this Friday (September 11).
Keira was a perfectly healthy child until she collapsed while paddling in the sea during a family holiday in the Isle of Wight last August.
She was quickly rushed to hospital, where a scan revealed that she had a rare brain tumour called Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma, which affects just 35 children in the UK every year.
Her family were heart-broken to be told that Keira had a slim chance of survival, and probably had less than a year to live - but she has battled against the odds and is now able to live a ‘relatively normal life’ aside from frequent hospital visits.
Emma said: “Keira knows her limitations, but she has returned to school full time.
“She rides horses with the disabled riding group at Kenwick on Tuesday evenings and she has started swimming lessons, something we never thought she would do due to her fear of water after almost drowning.”
Emma continued: “At the moment we are waiting to start a new trial in Bristol, which involves inserting a catheter directly into the tumour by a robotic surgeon and then a combination of drugs inserted regularly.
“It’s the biggest breakthrough there has been for this type of tumour. Keira appears well and stable, and hopefully strong enough to receive this new treatment.”
Emma would like to thank everyone who has helped or supported her family over this difficult past year.
She said: “I was overwhelmed by how many people turned up to release gold balloons. Keira is loved by so many people and we were so grateful these people came with us to raise awareness for childhood cancer.
“Most people have a hero they worship and would love to meet. I gave birth to my hero. Keira and all children fighting cancer should be shown so much recognition because they endure so much at such a young age - they are the real heroes.”