A GIRL from Four Marks is celebrating the end of more than two years of cancer treatment by holding a raffle to raise money for two charities which helped her.
Teiva Collins, 11, was aged nine when she was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia on May 1, 2019, and she had her final bout of chemotherapy on July 8 this year.
In between came hospital stays, hospital visits, weekly blood tests, daily chemotherapy sessions and many operations – most of them taking place with the shadow of Covid-19 looming in the background.
Her mother Dawn Collins, a professional photographer, said: “To say the past two years and two-and-a-half months have been difficult is an understatement. Teiva has shown remarkable courage and is a true inspiration to many.”
In the summer following her diagnosis, Teiva and Dawn started an Instagram page, @teivaschallenges, to talk about her disease, inspire others facing similar challenges and raise awareness of charities Abby’s Heroes and The Little Princess Trust.
Dawn said: “Both charities have been incredibly supportive throughout our cancer journey, Abby’s Heroes providing important financial and emotional support among the many other things they do for so many families.
“The first introduction to The Little Princess Trust was providing Teiva with her first wig when she lost her hair in the first phase of chemotherapy treatment.
“They provided a second wig – a pink one, no less – when she lost her hair in the delayed intensification phase of treatment, and funded a couple of incredible days out for us.”
Covid-19 got past Teiva’s suppressed immune system and stayed for four months. Dawn said: “Time with cancer and Covid has felt like a nightmare. It has caused many delays with her treatment, but she has shown much strength and found as many positives as possible along her journey.
“We were extremely proud when The Little Princess Trust asked Teiva, at the beginning of this year, to be an ambassador for them.
“Although Teiva has various other treatments to continue with and many appointments ahead of her still, we feel it is time to celebrate.”