Morven Weir and her family received the shattering news that she was suffering from a rare form of cancer just four days before Christmas.
A little more than six months later, the 11-year-old Airdrie girl has stunned medics by getting to ring a bell that signals the end of her battle.
The emotional moment at the Royal Hospital for Children in Glasgow was watched by those who supported her through her journey at the Schiehallion oncology ward, including friends, nurses and her proud family.
Dad Iain said: “It was quite a crowd and there were a lot of hugs. It was very emotional.
“When your child is diagnosed with cancer, there’s so much you don’t know and it’s so scary.
“When I look back at what’s happened over just a few months, I can’t quite believe it.”
In November, Morven noticed the left side of her neck was swollen and two small lumps had appeared.
Her GP suspected a build-up of calcium and suggested sucking on lemons to ease the swelling.
When this had no effect, Morven was taken to Monklands Hospital, where a biopsy was carried out. The results showed she was suffering from a rare strain of Hodgkin lymphoma.
Iain, 48, said: “Not once did we think it would be cancer.
“The doctors were unsure how to treat it at first as they didn’t have any experience of it.”
Further scans revealed Morven had been suffering from cancer for some time. It had started in her chest before spreading to her neck and stomach.
The location of the lumps in Morven’s neck meant they could not be operated on and chemotherapy was the only option.
When her treatment started, the brave Clarkston Primary pupil took each day in her stride – even when her hair started to fall out.
Iain said: “It was decided to shave off the remainder of her hair.
“Surely, this would be devastating for a young lady to have no hair – but, no, Morven loved it.”
Morven fell dangerously ill during her chemotherapy after contracting an infection, leaving her on an antibiotic drip and causing her treatment to be postponed.
Throughout the course of her scans and chemotherapy, Morven was determined to attend school as much as possible.
Shortly after her third round of treatment, scans revealed she was responding well. After the fourth, medics delivered the news that the chemotherapy had been a success.
Iain said: “It has been a very quick six months since Morven was first diagnosed. When she rang the bell, the nurse actually questioned the date on her certificate for when treatment began, saying, ‘Should this be 2015?’
“I’d heard of the fabled bell being rung but that’s the first time I saw anyone do it.”
Mum Fiona, 45, said: “I found it very emotional. It was great to see all the nurses who have cared for Morven there to see her ringing the bell.
“To see the look on Morven’s face when she saw all the nurses there was fantastic.”
The family are backing Glasgow Children’s Hospital Charity’s bid to raise £500,000 for the Schiehallion Appeal, a partnership with the Daily Record.
The appeal aims to expand Scotland’s only centre for clinical trials for young cancer patients, giving more children like Morven a chance at beating the disease.
For now, she will undergo monthly check-ups and a course of tablets to boost her immune system.
But Morven’s future looks bright and she hopes to celebrate by going on holiday to Legoland.
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