A 6-year-old girl who spent the last two years receiving treatment for leukemia will celebrate this Christmas cancer-free after ringing the bell last week to signify the end of her illness. Mia Preston, who was diagnosed after complaining of chest pains and nose bleeds, “kept calm and carried on,” despite the tough treatment plan, her father told SWNS.
“We don’t know how she managed to keep going, but she did,” Andy Preston, who told the news outlet that pains in his daughter’s legs were first dismissed as “some kind of virus,” said. “She really didn’t complain, she didn’t really cry – she asked why she was poorly, but we didn’t talk about the cancer too much.”
Childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is a type of cancer in which the bone marrow makes too many immature white blood cells. Symptoms may include fever and bruising, joint or bone pain, painless lumps, weakness, loss of appetite and several other ailments, according to the National Cancer Institute.
Treatment may include chemotherapy, radiation, stem cell transplants, and targeted therapy, which all carry their own side effects and may affect the child in addition to the symptoms caused by the cancer.
And after 28 months of grueling treatment, Mia was able to ring the “end of treatment bell” at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge last Tuesday. The family took Mia and her younger sister, Keira, to celebrate at a “Winter Wonderland” display this weekend.
“It’s been hellish for all of us, but we’re so relieved and just so happy that Mia’s been able to pull through this,” Andy told SWNS. “She had a wonderful time at Center Parcs at the weekend, and got the chance to meet Santa and update her Christmas list. Mia’s a tough cookie, it’s been amazing to see her try to get on with putting all this nasty stuff behind her – and just get back to being a kid.”
Andy said he and his wife, Emma, worried that their oldest daughter wouldn’t make it at times, but that Mia’s determination never faltered. He said they focused on bringing her as much joy as they could through treatment, which is how the tradition of visiting Center Parcs for Christmas started.
“As positive as she’s been every year, we’ve not seen Mia with such a big smile on her face – it’s turning out to be the perfect Christmas,” he told SWNS.