Family’s joy as Amelia, 3, now cancer-free - and back at nursery
PUBLISHED: 17:13 16 October 2020 | UPDATED: 10:01 17 October 2020
The family of Ipswich toddler Amelia Lewis are celebrating news that she is now free of cancer.
The three-year-old marked the end of months of treatment by ringing the bell at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, watched by proud mum and dad Sarah Old and Matthew Lewis.
Sarah said: “She’s doing so well - she has had her Hickman line out. The consultant is really happy with her at the moment, and there is no evidence of disease.”
Amelia is delighted to be back home in Ipswich, and has just gone back to nursery.
“She has lots of energy - she’s really, really enjoying nursery,” Sarah said. “It’s so lovely to see her play with other children.”
Her recovery also means a return to greater normality for the whole family.
Amelia’s parents, who had to give up their jobs for their daughter’s round-the-clock care, have both been able to go back to work. And older sister and brother Ellie, 13 and Ben, 11, are also back at school.
Mum Sarah wrote on her Amelia’s Ray of Sunshine Facebook page: “All done! All what’s left is regular reviews and scans.
“Time to go home and be a normal child! Cannot wait to give you a good scrub in the bath in a few days, Amelia. Go swimming and go roll in some sand!
“No more clamp coming undone! No more dressing changes! No more vests! And can start potty training. We beat cancer!”
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Amelia was an energetic, happy two-year-old when her parents noticed a lump on her side last year. They received the devastating news in November 2019 that she had a rare form of kidney cancer.
She underwent two operations, the second of which took eight hours and saw surgeons remove the 12cm wide tumour and a kidney.
The tiny girl then had 10 weeks of radiotherapy, followed by 28 weeks of chemotherapy with three different drugs.
Back in April, during coronavirus lockdown, the family issued a powerful plea for people to stay at home, warning that at that time she had “no immune system whatsoever”.
They are still urging people to obey all restrictions, but the good news is that Amelia no longer needs shielding.
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As well as the fear of infection, the pandemic has also made it more difficult to take Amelia to and from hospital.
“While we have been going to the hospital, she hasn’t been able to play with other children at all, and toys had been taken away for cleaning.
“It has been very, very difficult.
“Now she’s getting social interaction, which is something she really needs.”
As well as going back to work for Suffolk County Council, Sarah has also just started a Master’s degree course at the University of Suffolk, where she is studying counselling and cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT).
The family is very grateful to everyone who donated to the Amelia’s Ray of Sunshine fundraising appeal, but Sarah said they do not need to raise any more funds now.
If anybody does want to donate, she asked them to support Addenbrooke’s and Ipswich Hospitals, and the Lennox Children’s Cancer Fund and CLIC Sargent charity.
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