A young Tara girls’ fight to becoming cancer free
IN MARCH Addie Clay was diagnosed with stage four Hodgkin’s lymphoma, by July the resilient, brave, and determined 11-year-old had fought cancer and won.
Addie’s mother Sarah Turner said she was immensely proud and forever in awe of the way her little girl handled the tough hand she was dealt – a stage four cancer diagnosis and 64 doses of chemotherapy.
“Addie is a very strong kid, she will push her body until it collapses, there’s no giving up, she works hard to get what she wants - and now mentally as well with things in life,” she said.
“Things that use to bother her, are nothing for her now, it’s puts things into perspective for her not to sweat the small things because they mean nothing really.
“Also, she’s the type of kid that’s so compassionate and cares about everyone else while she’s sick in hospital.
If there was a child in bed next to her she would turn to me and say ‘I’m so lucky’ because she’s not as sick as the other girl.
“She’s the strongest person I know.”
When Addie was first diagnosed with cancer, Ms Turner said she was shocked to her core.
“The only thing that showed us that anything was wrong was that she had a cough that just wouldn’t go away,” she said.
“She was the fittest, healthiest kid, you really would not have thought she wouldn't have gotten something like that.
“It was in her spine and lungs as well, so when we found out it was all gone, it was the biggest relief.
“It was absolutely amazing, it’s the news you want to hear, and it was like that day would never come when she was first diagnosed.
“At the start of it, nine days in, we knew the treatment was working because we had a chest x-ray and saw the tumour was shrinking.
“She was put on a trial, Germany based, so they had input in her treatment - they acted like a second pair of eyes.”
Ms Turner said now that Addie is out of the woods, she’s beyond excited to return home to her life in Tara after spending a chunk of her time at Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital in Brisbane.
“She’s a country kid so to put her down there and take her away from her sport… she hated it,” Ms Turner said.
“So to be told it’s all over now, we can go home and back to normal life… it was great for her.”
During tough times, Ms Turner said there’s always light to be found in darkness.
“It really does show the best in people, some people just have massive hearts,” she said.
“I made some really great friends out of all this... they would check in everyday and ask, ‘how is Addie, how are you?’”
“It’s just created lifelong friendships through some on the support you get.”
Although there were tough times to bare through, Ms Turner said there’s no doubt the experience hasn’t made Addie an exceptionally strong young woman, who gained positive memories through all the love and support received from sporting heroes, strangers, friends and loved ones.