The parents of Katie Dodd, 5 years old and diagnosed with cancer just one year ago, are happy and proud to see their little girl going back to school to begin a new term.
Last September, doctors discovered a tumor pressing on Katie’s spinal chord. She could not move her legs anymore. They told her parents that she would need the most advanced form of radiotherapy: proton beam therapy. Since then, the little girl has completed 14 cycles of chemotherapy and travelled to the US for her state-of-the-art treatment, which is not yet available in the UK.
She’s been gradually building the strength back up in her legs in a bid to learn to walk again, despite her aggressive treatment. She has now been able to join her big brother and go back to Highfield Primary School, Farnworth, to start the new term. Her proud mum said: “It was just nice to take her and Joseph to school together because for the past year I’ve been looking forward to September to get some normality back.”
“She’s been doing really well over the summer. Her hair and eyelashes are even starting to grow back. She looked at me the other day and said, ‘Mummy, I look normal now’. She’s full of energy and not as fatigued any more. It’s like she’s a new girl.”
Katie will continue to work hard with physiotherapists and a dietician to get her strength and mobility back up. She will also have chest X-rays and MRI scans every 4 months to check for cancer cells. “She’s brilliant about it all and every day she tries to do something new for us, whether it’s sitting a different way or moving from one object to another. She loves to show off”, her Mom said.