Search

Brave Ria is battling back

PUBLISHED: 17:32 19 June 2008 | UPDATED: 11:15 03 July 2010

SCHOOLGIRL Ria Helsdon is responding to treatment to shrink tumours in her lungs, but more chemotherapy is needed to make them small enough for surgeons to operate.

SCHOOLGIRL Ria Helsdon is responding to treatment to shrink tumours in her lungs, but more chemotherapy is needed to make them small enough for surgeons to operate.

Her mother Heather Helsdon said this week that chemotherapy was successfully attacking the two tumours reducing them from 30mm to 21mm, but had also killed off her immune system.

So harsh is the treatment that 11-year-old Ria of Beatty Road needs regular kidney scans, blood and platelet transfusions and daily “rescue” injections she fears more than the chemo.

Overall she said her daughter was tired with little appetite for food or drink and plagued by sickness.

However, she may now be able to attend her school prom for leavers at North Denes Middle School at the end of the month.

The youngster had bought the glamorous strapless dress before the bombshell diagnosis that the cancer had returned, just as she was on the brink of moving to less regular appointments.

Now after months of daring to think it might all be over she has been plunged back into a cycle of treatment and tests at hospitals in Gorleston, Cambridge and Birmingham.

Mrs Helsdon said the family were taking it a day at a time. She added that Ria's precarious health meant sickness and diarrhoea could be fatal as could a small cut, because her blood wasn't clotting.

It is hoped the chemotherapy will blast the numerous smaller tumours that sprang up suddenly after months of clear scans.

Ria was first diagnosed with bone cancer around two years ago and underwent an operation to replace leg bones with motorised magnetic ones. Months later surgeons removed secondary tumours from her lungs and after numerous set backs and infections she looked to have made a near miraculous recovery, regaining her fresh, elfin looks and astounding everyone who had seen her at her lowest ebb.

The cancer's return has devastated her close-knit family who are nevertheless heartened that treatment is having an effect. Surgeons are keeping a close eye on the tumours and will operate to remove them as soon as they are small enough, saving as much of the lung as possible.

Most Read

Latest from the Great Yarmouth Mercury

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists