A mother today told of her pride in her brave daughter after she received sight-saving medical treatment.
Scarlett McCracken, 11, celebrated her birthday on Monday with mum and grandmother in Oklahoma, USA, as she comes to the end of a two-month treatment program.
Scarlett’s mum Kerry, said: “Scarlett’s treatment is going really well, she’s lost a little hair but because she’s got that much it’s not too bad.
“She gets tired in the afternoon and gets headaches after treatment, but I’m so proud, she’s doing brilliantly.”
Scarlett, of Milbanke Avenue, Kirkham, was diagnosed with a brain tumour four years ago and had to undergo a life-saving operation.
Active cells left from the operation pushed on to Scarlett’s optic nerve causing her to lose her sight.
Her eyesight deteriorated so acutely that she travelled more than 4,500 miles in February to Oklahoma for Proton Beam Therapy to stop her going blind.
The procedure is not available in the UK, meaning the NHS funded the £90,000 proton beam therapy and travel to America, but the family needed support for the time spent in America while treatment took place.
As well as receiving treatment five times a week, Scarlett has also been able to enjoy day trips organised by ProCure Oklahoma City Medical Centre.
Kerry added: “We’ve been to the local fire station for a tour around the station and had lunch there.
“Scarlett also got to ride in a fire engine and sat in the front to set the sirens off and honked the horn.
“The kids finished off the day by going down the fire station pole.
“We have done so much that I could go on all day, we are making the best of a bad situation.”
The mother-of-two said the family was looking forward to returning home next Sunday.
Kerry added: “We miss our family and friends so much but the messages and support from home are overwhelming and we are forever thankful to everyone that has helped us on this journey.
“If it wasn’t for everyone’s kind help and generosity my little girl could have been celebrating her 11th birthday in darkness.”
Scarlett’s story of bravery has reached far and wide, with the family receiving donations from all corners of the Fylde coast.
On Good Friday, a string of events in Kirkham raised a total of £1,400.
Coun Keith Beckett organised a night dedicated to Scarlett at Willows Social Club in Kirkham.
The event included raffles and music from local band, The Invaders.
Scarlett’s father and grandfather turned up to show their support too.
Earlier in the day, YMCA Rural Splash, Kirkham hosted a Charity Fun Triathlon with 54 adults, 12 juniors and three teams participating throughout the day.
Following the success of raising £640 through entry fees and donations, it is now planned to make the triathlon an annual event.
And another impressive donation came from five- year-old schoolmate Theo Swan.
The kind-hearted youngster made homemade lemonade and baked cakes to sell after hearing about Scarlett’s plight.
He ended up raising an impressive £795 towards Scarlett’s total by holding the stall outside his home in Wesham.