ALL SMILES: Big Brother Xavier with his sister Paige Friend who, after a two year battle is cancer free.
ALL SMILES: Big Brother Xavier with his sister Paige Friend who, after a two year battle is cancer free. Amy Kadel

Out on top after cancer battle

IN APRIL 2014, the Friend family recieved a diagnosis that turned their world upside down, their sweet, cheeky two-year-old Paige had leukemia.

Now, after two years of intense treatments, Paige is cancer free after having her final chemotherapy session on April 22.

“She did eight months of full on treatment and then we went onto a maintenance thing,” mum Kate Friend said.

“She did maintenance for a year and a half and that was just chemo every few months and regular chemo tablets.”

After her final chemotherapy session, Paige got to participate in hospital tradition of ringing the bell.

“It’s a big thing down there that they get to ring the bell and sign their name when they finish their journey,” Kate said

The process was long and hard for the family, but they made it through with the support of family, friends and the hospital staff.

“There were definitely moments were it was hard, we spent a lot of time in hospital and stuff and I had to be there for her the whole time,” Kate said.

“In the first eight months I think we had twice we got air lifted out and stuff, so we had a few things go wrong, but other than that she (Paige) went through it pretty easy.”

As Paige runs around the room screaming and laughing, it is clear the diagnosis and treatment never dampened her spirits.

“Even when she was really sick she was still always happy, we used to have her in the hospital just stirring up the nurses,” Kate said.

“She’s always been very bubbly, the whole way through it.”

Paige also got to start Prep this year, a big moment for any child.

“It’s a really exciting moment, I was going to hold her back a year but I just went, there’s not point like she’s still a normal child and they always teach you at the hospital to treat them like a normal child,” Kate said.

Paige will continue taking chemo tablets until June with blood tests every six months for the next few years, Kate said it’s nice to know that the hard parts of the journey are over.

“It’s a relief to not have to worry so much,” she said.

Stanthorpe Border Post


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