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Christmas comes six months early for Eva

Reporter: Rosalyn Roden
Date online: 17 July 2017

AN INSPIRATIONAL nine-year-old girl has celebrated one year cancer free after being invited to a magical Winter Wonderland party.

Eva Clayton from Moorside starred as a guest of honour at Cancer Research UK's awards event in London for more than 600 children.

The St Joseph's RC Primary School pupil was one of just 20 children to be invited to the winter grotto with her family who, just one year ago, received the news Eva had the all-clear.

The Oldham Evening Chronicle previously reported Eva's diagnosis of Wilms' tumour in March last year.

The brave youngster has faced gruelling chemotherapy, losing her long "Dora the Explorer" hair.

Stomach aches and headaches first alerted mum Jillian that something was wrong, followed by a fall at school when Eva's legs gave way.

But it was an emergency ultrasound at North Manchester Hospital which found she had a cancerous tumour.

Mum Jillian said: "When we arrived on Ward 84 at Royal Manchester Children's Hospital Eva said to us, 'This is a cancer ward. You can die from cancer. Am I going to die?"

The youngster has had to undergo a total of 12 weeks' chemotherapy treatment and a five-hour operation to remove the tumour and her right kidney.

Eva is having regular scans to check she remains cancer free but she is doing well and has since returned to Ukrainian dancing, recently coming second in a national competition.

Last week the schoolgirl travelled with her family to the Two Temple Place for Cancer Research UK Kids & Teens Star Awards, which seek to honour the strength of children and young people diagnosed with cancer.

Eva had the opportunity to meet Santa in the middle of the summer at a festive Winter Wonderland party.

Mum Jillian Clayton said: "It's been really exciting for Eva and the rest of the family. She's been through so much and it was nice to see her being able to relax and enjoy herself with her brother and sister."

She was busy decorating snowflakes, snow globes and gingerbread biscuits as well as making reindeer headbands to wear.

Cancer Research UK Kids & Teens Greater Manchester representative Alison Barbuti said: "It is an absolute privilege to be able to recognise the strength of youngsters like Eva who have been through so much at such a young age. She is a true 'star'.

"Cancer can have a major impact on children and young people, forcing them to show incredible courage beyond their years, so it was fantastic to see Eva's smile light up."

To support the charity's awards visit cruk.org/kidsandteens.


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