Brave Wigan schoolgirl now fighting third cancer battle in just 18 months

A brave schoolgirl with an extremely rare condition is receiving treatment for cancer for the third time in just 18 months.

Thursday, 13th January 2022, 4:55 am

Life certainly has been full of ups and downs for five-year-old Holly Prince and her family, who live in Hindley.

She was diagnosed with Bloom syndrome in 2020, making her one of fewer than 300 people around the world found to have the rare genetic disorder.

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Holly Prince with parents Mark and Jenny

It can lead to people being short in stature, sensitive to sunlight and having a greater risk of getting cancer.

And just three months after the diagnosis, in June 2020, her parents Mark and Jenny Prince were given the devastating news that their daughter had Wilm’s tumour, a kidney cancer that affects children.

Holly had surgery to remove the tumour and a kidney, followed by chemotherapy.

But the treatment was so gruelling that she only had seven rounds of chemotherapy, rather than the 12 planned, as she was struggling to recover between each session.

Nonetheless, doctors found there was no evidence of the disease remaining by summer 2021 and she was declared to be in remission.

Her family was hopeful that the cancer would stay away and Holly was at last able to bathe, go swimming and joined the reception class at Hindley Green Primary School.

But it was not long before they were given more devastating news.

Mark said: “Holly got to ring the bell in the summer and then follow-up scans in September found the tumour had returned in the area where her kidney was removed. She had an operation to remove the tumour in September.

“They were going to put her through proton beam therapy then, which had to be approved by a national board because patients in this country with a Wilm’s tumour usually have radiotherapy and the proton beam therapy is more precise. They approved it for her. She had it every day for 14 days to try to kill off the cells.

“On the back of that she had follow-up scans again. This time it had returned in her pleural cavity, just below her lungs. There were three tumours this time.

“She is currently having chemotherapy again, a different kind because the one she had last year didn’t work.

“She had five days of chemo at Christmas, including being in on Christmas Day. She has a break now until January 17, when she has her next five-day cycle.”

Despite the medical treatment and recently having coronavirus, Holly appears to be taking everything in her stride.

Mark said: “Holly is coping really well. Because of the chemo she is on, her immune system is quite low so she is at risk of getting infections, but generally she is okay.”

Holly planned to return to the classroom this week, to spend time with her friends before her next cycle of chemotherapy.

Fund-raising is also continuing for the family, as well as for charity, and donations can be made at gofund.me/d12fde65

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