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Girl Given 4 Per Cent Chance Of Survival Now Completely Cancer Free
In March 2017 little Isla Caton's family were told by doctors that she only had a four per cent chance of survival when she was diagnosed with stage four neuroblastoma (a rare type of cancer of the nerve cells that mainly affects children under the age of five).
But she has now been declared cancer free following a new course of treatment in Barcelona involving both chemotherapy and antibodies.
The schoolgirl was fourth on the list for the treatment at Sant Joan de Déu children's hospital but was judged to be the fittest by doctors so became the world's first to receive it. And thankfully it's been a great success.
Isla's mum, Nicola, spoke about the moment she realised her young daughter had won her battle and hopes that their story will offer hope and encouragement to other cancer sufferers and their families.
"When we got the all clear, I just burst into tears, it was the best day of my life. It still hasn't sunk in, to be honest," she told the Metro.
The treatment would not have been possible without a crowdfunding effort by football fans from on-pitch rivals West Ham United and Millwall.
The teams and their supporters came together to help raise £500,000 to fund Isla's treatment with Danny Dyer and James Corden also lending a hand.
The Bradley Lowery Foundation, established after the tragic death of six-year-old Bradley from neuroblastoma in 2017, also lent a hand.
Nicola urged other patients and their families to try crowdfunding if the treatment they need isn't currently available on the NHS.
But she did urge people to check the scientific viability of treatments before going ahead. "I think people have to make sure that the treatment is taking place in a hospital," she added
"But there are a lot of options out there not available on the NHS. I was told to take my daughter home and make her comfortable. But we kept going."
Latest tests show that Isla is cancer free, but more treatment is needed to ensure that it does not return.
She will have two more rounds of chemotherapy, another antibody treatment, and a vaccine to prevent the cancer returning at a later stage.
Her parents hope that life will get back to normal now she's home.
Her mum added: "Hopefully we'll return home and be able to start thinking about things like school. I just want her to enjoy everything that other children do now."
Featured Image Credit: PA