By Becca Husselbee
This is the touching moment a ward of hospital staff formed a ‘guard of honour’ for a brave schoolgirl as she celebrated finishing her 18th – and final – round of chemo.
Alice Rossington, 12, celebrated the start of her cancer remission on Tuesday, by reading a poem and ringing a bell, surrounded by the hospital staff who supported her after she was diagnosed with a rare form of bone cancer in October, last year.
Alice, from Grantham, Lincolnshire, had part of her fibula bone removed due to the tumor and is now having to learn to walk again with the help of physio.
Dad, Nick Rossington, 52, said: “She has always been a happy, healthy girl, who loved to dance, especially ballet.
“She started complaining of pain in her leg, which we thought were growing pains, so it was a huge shock when Alice was finally diagnosed with cancer.
“From the start, Alice took everything in her stride, she knew it was something she just had to get through.
“Her strength of character has been amazing and every single member of staff, from the nurses to the chefs, have been with us every step of the way.
In the video, mum, Victoria, 50, says: “Can I just say to every single one of you. Thank you so much for everything you have done from the bottom of our hearts.
“Our family has been brought back together again because of what every single one of you has done.”
The video has now been viewed over 47,000 times on the hospital’s Facebook page with inspiring comments from members of the public.
Alice was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a rare tumour on her fibular leg bone, last October, and was given a treatment plan of 18 rounds of chemotherapy, over 26 weeks, on ward C2 of the Addenbrooke hospital, in Cambridge.
She also underwent an operation to remove the tumour, in July, which meant the bone was replaced with an aluminum prosthesis and that the schoolgirl would need physio to learn to walk again.
Nick said: “When we were first told about the diagnoses she was really concerned about losing her hair but she has coped amazingly well with everything that’s been thrown at her.
“She really suffered from the excruciating pain her legs and vomiting when she started her chemotherapy.
“It was heartbreaking to see but she has shown real strength of character.
“She was in very capable hands and the staff were a brilliant team.”
Now in remission, Alice will start secondary school in January and is hoping to start dancing again in the near future.
She is now back at home with her older brother Charlie, 22, and sister Isabella, 14.
Nick said: “We are a very close-knit family and her brother and sister have been very supportive, regularly visiting her at the hospital.
“It’s brilliant to have her back at home.”
Senior staff nurse, Carol Chenery, said: “The most inspirational part of the video is that Alice managed to walk from her bed to the bell.
“That is the first time she had managed to walk that distance after her surgery.
“The bell really helps give a focus for the children that have to go through these really difficult treatments.”