THE mother of a young girl who has battled four tumours has praised her daughter's bravery after being told she was in remission.
Chianna-Mai Moxey was diagnosed with cancer in November 2011, just days before her 11th birthday, with tumours which started in her foot and travelled into her lymph nodes in her groin and near her heart and lungs.
Yet after undergoing intensive and high-risk chemotherapy at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital Chi, now 12, has confounded expectations to return to school – and mother Wendy could not be more proud.
Chi's tumours are inoperable and she will continue with chemotherapy to stop the cancer returning.
Complications due to radiotherapy scarring in her throat means she is still on a liquid diet and needs to have her throat dilated every six weeks for the foreseeable future.
But Ms Moxey said: "We are so pleased with her progress – just to see how great she was after all that she went through is so great. She missed a whole year of school but was able to start at secondary school in September.
"We are so, so proud of her. We know it is not over, but we just need to concentrate on keeping her healthy and there is every chance she could be in remission for the rest of her life.
"The radiotherapy is going to be a constant reminder. Her throat needs to be opened up, but she is doing exceptionally well. We did not think she would make it but has proved herself to be a real little fighter.
"You can't really plan ahead with something like this hanging over our heads," Ms Moxey added. "We just enjoy each day as it comes. Chi is doing really well and responding to treatment. She has bewildered the doctors, who did not recognise her when they last saw her. She has got her hair back and has rosy cheeks."
Ms Moxey said she wanted to thank those who have supported her family throughout the ordeal. Chi's grandmother Lynn Moxey raised £660 for the paediatric oncology fund in Bramble Ward at the hospital during her 60th birthday party.
Fundraising in Exeter also helped to give Chi a birthday party after she slept through her own following treatment.
"It was very kind of my mother to ask for donations instead of birthday presents," added Ms Moxey. "I would also like to thank my partner Steven Miller for all the support he has shown. And my mother-in-law Jill Saunders and my sister-in-law for all their help as well.
"I am also very proud of Chi's sisters Shannon Moxey, 15, and Caitlyn Miller, seven, who have been supportive throughout."