Brave five-year-old Lana Nixon rings bell to mark end of gruelling treatment for brain cancer

Little fighter Lana Nixon, from Sunderland, has rang the bell to celebrate the end of her treatment for brain cancer.

Wednesday, 6th October 2021, 2:00 pm

The courageous five-year-old has gone through a painstaking ordeal ever since she was found to have a rare brain tumour in 2018.

Lana, from Houghton, who has a fast growing ATRT (Atypical Teratoid Rhabdoid Tumor) was diagnosed when an MRI scan found a large mass on her brain.

The brave fighter underwent treatment including aggressive intravenous chemotherapy and a stem cell transplant.

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Lana rang the bell to mark the end of her cancer treatment on August 14.

But this little miracle began doing remarkably well as she started nursery at Hetton Lyons before her family received the devastating news that the cancer had returned in December last year.

The five-year-old has since undergone craniospinal radiotherapy, four more rounds of chemotherapy and battled COVID-19.

But on August 14, Lana finally rang the bell to mark the end of her treatment.

Lana’s mum Gemma said: “She’s so brave and is still happy and smiling – She surprises us every time.

Lana has undergone three rounds of chemotherapy after relapsing in December and has one more to go before her final scan in August.

"It’s quite scary now the treatment has finished because now we’re just waiting for her scan results in November, I’m feeling nervous but also lucky that she’s been doing so well.”

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While receiving treatment at the Great North Children’s Hospital, Charity Henry Dancer Days has ‘brightened up the toughest days' for Lana with story telling sessions and pottery workshops by artist Jo Ratcliffe.

The charity was set up by Jane Nattrass, whose only child Henry Dancer died of a rare form of bone cancer, Osteosarcoma.

Lana with artist Jo Ratcliffe from Henry Dancer Days painting pottery.

Gemma said: “Charities such as the Henry Dancer Days provide escapism for the children and parents whilst in treatment. They brighten up the toughest days bringing fun and smiles to the faces of the children and their families. We are so grateful that this kind of charity exists.

"The pottery is also a keepsake and it really helped break up the day while in hospital, it really made a difference.”

Lana is currently on treatment for a fungal infection on her liver, spleen and lungs following chemo so has hospital trips everyday for the next three weeks.

Gemma added: “We’re confident she’ll get there and we’ve organised lots of Christmas activities for her to look forward to, our life will never be normal but we’re making it a new normal.”

Lana, 5 before she relapsed a week before Christmas.

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