THIS September – Childhood Cancer Awareness Month – a schoolgirl from Anglesey who survived a rare form of cancer is urging people across Wales to clear out their wardrobes to help save lives like hers.
Maisy Fitzmaurice from Amlwch was diagnosed with germ cell cancer, back in April 2019, just weeks after her 10th birthday.
Now, thanks to lifesaving treatment, she is cancer free and looking forward to starting her first year of senior school at the town’s Ysgol Syr Thomas Jones School.
The kind-hearted eleven-year-old, who says she enjoys shopping, football and Tik Tok, now wants to help other children going through cancer by supporting TK Maxx’s ‘Give Up Clothes For Good’ campaign, in support of Cancer Research UK for Children & Young People.
The campaign urges people to donate any pre-loved quality clothing, accessories and homeware they no longer need to their nearest TK Maxx store.
For many, like Maisy and her family, the extra time spent at home during the COVID-19 outbreak has provided an opportunity to focus on de-cluttering – which can now be put to good use. When sold in Cancer Research UK shops, each bag of items donated could raise up to £25 to help fund dedicated research into children’s and young people’s cancers.
Maisy’s cancer was spotted by her parents who noticed swelling in her tummy, by the time she was diagnosed at Alderhey Children’s hospital, the aggressive form of cancer which originated in her ovaries, had spread to her liver and lungs. She had to have surgery to remove a 7lb tumour as well as an intensive course of chemotherapy treatment.
PICTURE: Maisy ringing the bell to signal the end of her treatment last September.
The family now cherish every new milestone and this September is just another new part of her life to celebrate.
Maisy’s dad Tony Fitzmaurice said: “It’s a significant time for any parent, but for us it means so much, to watch her go to school again after such a long time at home and despite everything that she has been through, it’s really special.”
Due to the coronavirus pandemic and the impact of Maisy’s chemotherapy treatment, which left her more vulnerable to the virus, the family have had to isolate at home since March.
Tony added: “Maisy can’t wait to go to school to see her friends again”
Last September, Maisy rang the end of treatment bell at Alderhey Children’s hospital, which meant so much to mum Emma, dad Tony and brother Mylo, aged 13.
Tony said “We felt so proud of Maisy when she rang the bell, it was a real magical moment. Her brother Mylo was also amazing, he was always by her side, holding her hand when she got down and a bit scared. It was their positivity and strength that carried the family through it all”.
Maisy is in remission and has tests every four months at Alderhey Children’s Hospital. She now wants to help other young children affected by cancer.