Girl, 5, diagnosed with cancer at eight-weeks-old throws party to celebrate all-clear

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A five-year-old girl is throwing a party to celebrate beating cancer after being given a 50/50 chance of survival soon after being born.

Hollie McNeill, from Scunthorpe, Lincolnshire, was diagnosed with leukaemia at eight weeks old after a doctor spotted she looked pale.

Following tests for anaemia at Scunthorpe General Hospital, cancer was confirmed the same day – June 14, 2017, reports GrimsbyLive.

Hollie’s parents were told to get her to Sheffield Children’s Hospital “as soon as possible” where she stayed for five weeks, undergoing an op to have a broviac line fitted.

She also started chemotherapy.

Mum Jennie Brookes said: “When they told us she had leukaemia I didn’t even know what it was and I just said, ‘Is that cancer?’ and from then, she was put onto antibiotics and a drip and we were told that we needed to get to Sheffield Children’s Hospital as soon as possible.

“I went home, got a suitcase packed – I knew it was a long-term thing – and came straight back. We were put into an ambulance and blue-lighted to Sheffield and we got there at 11.30pm.

“We turned up on this ward and it was dark, everyone was asleep, and we got put into a side room and didn’t really know what was going on. The next day, she was sent to theatre and had a broviac line fitted. Then she was given four rounds of intensive chemotherapy.

“For the first five weeks we couldn’t come home, and then we were allowed to come home in between chemotherapy. But she had no immune system so we weren’t allowed to be around friends or family or in any public spaces.

“It was horrendous. It’s taken me a long time to be able to talk about it without crying.”

Hollie underwent her last round of chemotherapy on November 11, 2017, and was given the all-clear in December 2017.

Five years on, devoted Jennie has organised a fundraising party to celebrate Hollie being in remission for five years, and all proceeds raised from ticket sales will go to Sheffield Children’s Hospital.

Set to take place at the Wortley House Hotel in Scunthorpe on Saturday, November 12, the day will include appearances from Anna, Elsa and Spiderman, games, live music, bubble machines, face painting, glitter tattoos, balloon modelling and raffles.

Jennie said: “I feel like I owe it to Sheffield Children’s Hospital, all the proceeds will go to them.

“I’m hoping I can raise at least a couple of hundred, and if people just want to donate some money, they can do that too.”

Speaking of how it feels to know Hollie has been in remission for five years, Jennie said: “It feels overwhelming, it’s such a huge relief.”

Tickets to the event cost £5 per child and £1 per adult. You can purchase tickets or donate funds by sending Jennie a message on 07710191554.