Bella-Rose was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia when she was just three years old. After over a year of treatment, Bella has suffered a relapse.
Her mum, Abbie, tells their story.
Bella was extremely unwell when she was first diagnosed. In fact, she was so poorly that she nearly went straight into intensive care. Our lives had completely stopped. I held my little girl in my arms for days – trying to come to terms with the fact that my three-year-old had cancer.
It tore us all apart. It broke me to my soul. But Bella-Rose is a remarkably strong little girl and she pulled through it; and for a time, our lives were able to start again. We could enjoy the little things like trying to spot birds on the way to nursery, playing with our sausage dog or just being at home together.
But Bella-Rose soon relapsed and we found ourselves back in hospital; signing forms for a relapse protocol involving the most intense chemotherapy possible. The chemo is an illuminous blue colour and is so strong that all of her beautiful red hair that had just grown back, is now falling out again.
In a mere matter of seconds our lives have been snatched away from us because here we are again; at our daughter’s bedside, watching handfuls of her hair fall out as the side effects of chemotherapy slowly start to take over her body. My poor little girl has been in such pain – unable to eat, drink or even speak for over a week. Her mouth swelling is so bad that the nurses thought she was having an allergic reaction to something.
As before, I sit in the chapel here at the hospital crying so much that my tears flood the floors. I wake up during the night crying. Bella’s consultant has told us that if we were to discontinue chemotherapy and have a transplant instead she would have an 80 per cent chance of relapsing again. So we’ve got no choice but to continue on and pray that our beautiful Bella-Rose is strong enough to come through a second time.
Running and running to help children with cancer
I run with purpose. I run with floods of tears and a broken heart. I run and run and keep on running. During all of this, I am still training for the marathon. It gives me a purpose to what currently feels like a hopeless existence.
Running the marathon was always on my bucket list of things to achieve. I signed up to run for Children with Cancer UK because they provide vital research and funding to help find better treatments for childhood cancers.
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We’d like to thank Abbie for sharing her story with us all.