Life back on track after little Haylea's cancer scare

LITTLE FIGHTER: Haylea Rose Jarvis, 3, of Eumundi, has been given the all-clear after surgery and chemotherapy for cancer.
LITTLE FIGHTER: Haylea Rose Jarvis, 3, of Eumundi, has been given the all-clear after surgery and chemotherapy for cancer. Geoff Potter

HAYLEA Rose Jarvis doesn't care there's no hair to hold in place the shiny tiara balanced on her head.

A year ago, Haylea was admitted to hospital for pneumonia. But medical tests found a 10cm tumour on her liver that had metastasised to her lungs.

In January, Haylea was diagnosed with hepatoblastoma, a rare form of liver cancer.

"She was having intense chemo every week, for about three months, which was really knocking everything out of her," Haylea's dad, Brent, said.

"Then in April, she had her operation and they ended up removing all of her liver and also taking out her gall bladder.

The Royal Children's Hospital became home for three-year-old Haylea and her mum Catherine as she underwent three more rounds of chemotherapy.

"The cancer had spread to her lungs as well, so that made sure anything left in her body was mopped up and taken care of," Brent said.

In August, Haylea had her last round of chemotherapy and recent scans show she is cancer-free.

But she will also have hospital check-ups every month for the next two years, then every three months for years after.

"Fingers crossed it stays away," Brent said. "It's going to be a nervous five years."

In the meantime, the Eumundi family is just glad to have their little girl back.

She's crazy about swimming and desperately wants to grow a mermaid tail.

September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, a chance to become more conscious of how common childhood cancers are.

"Nothing can prepare you for what happens," Brent said.

Topics:  cancer chemotherapy eumundi lung cancer

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