Redditch schoolgirl with rare cancer receives national award - The Redditch Standard

Redditch schoolgirl with rare cancer receives national award

Redditch Editorial 19th Jan, 2024   0

A REDDITCH schoolgirl who amazed doctors with her gymnastic tricks while being treated for a rare and advanced form of cancer, has been recognised with a special national award.

A year ago, Maya Mason, now six, was diagnosed with a soft tissue cancer called rhabdomyosarcoma after experiencing stomach pains.

Doctors initially thought she’d pulled a muscle doing gymnastics when in fact she had a large tumour growing in her chest wall.

Now, for the courage she has shown throughout her treatment, she has received a Cancer Research UK for Children & Young People Star Award.

As well as a star shaped trophy, Maya also received a £50 TK Maxx gift card, t-shirt and a certificate signed by the celebrities. Her brother Theo, received a certificate too.

Maya’s mum Hollie said: “Sometimes I forget Maya has cancer because she’s so full of energy, she’s helped us get through it.

“Nothing phases her and she’s just been amazing. She’s supported us without even knowing it.”

Maya, who attends Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic First School, was admitted to Worcestershire Royal Hospital in January last year with suspected pneumonia after stomach ache symptoms worsened, and doctors found fluid on her chest.

“Antibiotics didn’t work, so the doctor listened to her chest and sent us for an x-ray,” said Hollie.

“They found one side of her chest was completely covered with fluid. Based on the x-ray, they said she should be in intensive care but, unbelievably, she was still colouring and behaving normally.”

Maya was taken from Worcestershire Royal Hospital  to Birmingham Children’s Hospital where doctors informed Hollie and dad Jordan that she had a large tumour in her chest wall.

Maya began an intense course of chemotherapy as part of a Cancer Research UK funded clinical trial comparing different treatment regimens for Rhabdomyosarcoma.

After being discharged, Maya soon got into a routine with her treatment and even took losing her hair in her stride after she got it cut short alongside her mum.

In July she spent six weeks in Manchester having proton beam therapy – a highly targeted form of radiotherapy that blitzes tumours with minimal damage to healthy tissue.

“While we were in Manchester the consultant said he had to check he had the right child because her scans were so good,” added Hollie.

“He couldn’t believe it was the same little girl who was jumping around and doing gymnastics in the ward!”

Maya is now on maintenance chemotherapy which she will continue on until the end of summer this year.

Meanwhile, she’s started back at school and is continuing her gymnastics.

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