Nora was only eight months old when she was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma, a type of cancer that affects the nerve cells.
When mum Naomi first noticed that Nora was having trouble crawling and pulling herself up, the doctors assumed she had damaged a bone in her leg and put on a plaster cast. When Nora’s condition deteriorated, Naomi asked for a second opinion. Further testing revealed that Nora had cancer, and the tumour was wrapped around her spine. She lost all the movement in her legs.
Following an MRI, CT scan, a biopsy and a lumbar puncture and five hours under general anaesthetic, brave little Nora commenced emergency chemotherapy.
After chemotherapy shrank the tumour by almost 40%, she had surgery. While the operation relieved the pressure on her spine and allowed her to move freely again, the doctors were not able to remove all of the cancer without causing permanent damage.
She continued with chemotherapy until last August, to fight off the remaining cancer cells. She has now been in remission for eight months!
While Nora’s family are so grateful to have their beautiful girl happy and healthy again, there is still an anxious journey ahead, with ongoing testing to make sure Nora stays in remission. They get their strength from each other, and Naomi says they have survived just by taking each day as it comes, finding a positive moment in every day.
“We are so grateful for the all of the love and support we have received from our family, friends and the wider community. We would not have been able to get through this alone. You are only as strong as the support you have around you.”
But Naomi’s message to other mums is to always trust your motherly instinct.
“When it comes to the health of your child, mums really do know best.”
And thank goodness Naomi did. Nora is now a bubbly, giggling two year-old who loves running around with her two elder brothers, Jonte and Johnas. Her superpower is her smile, and the ability to always be happy despite the barrage of tests and hospital time she continues to endure. It’s not hard to see where she this little fighter gets her nickname from – especially now that her beautiful strawberry locks are growing back!
So many of Nora’s “firsts” were spent in hospital. Her first birthday, her first Easter… her first words and her first steps. Naomi says:
“This year we have a second chance, to do them all again on the outside. A chance to make happier memories.”
You can purchase prints of Nora’s artwork here.