A brave 10-year-old cancer survivor started her weekend celebrating beating cancer after ringing the recovery bell after two years of chemotherapy.
Jessica Fornal, from Basildon, rang the bell on Wagtail Ward in Basildon Hospital to signify completion of her treatment, after recovering from a two-year battle with Neuroblastoma.
Jessica travelled to Poland in the summer of 2017 to visit her dad when she began complaining of stomach pain. Her dad took her to the local GP when doctors revealed there was an underlying issue. Ultrasounds over the days revealed that she had a tumour but doctors were still unsure of the definitive diagnosis.
Additional tests over the weeks revealed Jessica had Neuroblastoma.
Neuroblastoma is a rare type of cancer that mostly affects babies and young children. It affects around 100 children each year in the UK and is most common in children under the age of five.
Jessica’s mother Angelika, asked doctors if she could bring her daughter back to the UK for further treatment.
Jessica was referred to Basildon Hospital and subsequently Great Ormond Street Hospital. She endured eight cycles of chemotherapy, radiotherapy, high doses of chemotherapy and anti-GD2 antibody therapy that treats high risk Neuroblastoma.
Two years on she is in remission and is happy to be back at school with the support of her family and the children’s department at Basildon Hospital.
Jessica’s mother Angelika said, “After such a gruelling process and many tears shed it’s amazing to see her back to her normal self. We are so thankful for the team at Basildon Hospital; we couldn’t have gotten through this without them.”
Talking about her recovery Jessica said, “I am happy I’m better now and I get to see my friends at school. I love school!”
Laura Ryan, Play team leader at Basildon Hospital said, “Understandably, when a child finishes cancer treatment it’s a great relief for the children and their families. We like to mark this special occasion with celebration and gifts.”