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Ria prepares for new cancer fight

PUBLISHED: 16:54 22 May 2008 | UPDATED: 11:06 03 July 2010

JUST as it looked like she might have beaten the disease Great Yarmouth schoolgirl Ria Helsdon is facing another battle with cancer.

A routine scan at Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge, revealed a large tumour on each lung and numerous tiny ones triggering immediate chemotherapy.

JUST as it looked like she might have beaten the disease Great Yarmouth schoolgirl Ria Helsdon is facing another battle with cancer.

A routine scan at Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge, revealed a large tumour on each lung and numerous tiny ones triggering immediate chemotherapy.

The 11-year-old of Beatty Road had hoped that a year without treatment might point to a full recovery but the disease was picked up on what would have been her last six-weekly check before moving to appointments every 12 weeks.

Her mother Heather said she was “absolutely devastated” the disease had returned, this time with a poorer prognosis which made the situation even more dangerous.

“I cried all the way home,” she added.

She said Ria's first reaction was to have a mad runaround outside, but within minutes she had calmed herself and was soon keen to get on with the treatment.

Knowing all the nurses and staff made the situation more bearable but the family won't know for sure what doctors want to do next until another scan on Friday.

Meanwhile, Ria, who has already lost all her hair again, may return to North Denes Middle School. Chemotherapy was making her tired, her mother said, but not any where near as ill as it did before when she lost a stone in a week and was very sick.

The tumours are secondary to the ones in her leg bone which were removed. The disease was first diagnosed as the family prepared for a holiday in Spain two years ago. This time they had to abandon a holiday to Florida, possibly forfeiting the cost and certainly losing the £800 it cost to insure Ria for the trip.

Ria said this week that although she was excited about the holiday she had a nagging feeling that something might go wrong but hopes she will be well enough to go to her school prom on June 28.

Meanwhile Ria had to pull out of the Race for Life at Norwich showground but was pleased to support her friends Emily Wright (pictured left) and Olivia Hudson, who were inspired by their friend's cancer story to take part.


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