Glace Bay girl returns home cancer free
Published Saturday, May 5, 2018 6:02PM ADT
Last Updated Saturday, May 5, 2018 6:48PM ADT
What started off as a very difficult battle for a Cape Breton girl now has a happy ending, thanks to a lot of determination and support from her community.
After nearly a year of battling through bone cancer, 12-year-old Leigh-Anne Cox is finally home in Glace Bay.
"I'm so happy, being stuck in a hospital is not fun," says Leigh-Anne.
It was in May of last year that Leigh-Anne started feeling pains in her leg.
"She was sitting at the table doing some homework and she started to cry. No child should cry over growing pains, so I figured it had to be something else," says Adele Cox, Leigh-Anne's mother.
An initial trip to the emergency room didn't reveal much, but in July an x-ray determined there was a tumour in Leigh-Anne's leg.
Days later Leigh-Anne was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, and a lesion was discovered on Leigh-Anne's lung and on a bone in her leg.
"Pediatric cancers progress very quickly. From the time she started with a little pain in her leg, until diagnoses was only 12 weeks," says Adele Cox.
The family was devastated, their lives changed, and they knew the journey ahead wasn't going to be an easy one.
"These are Leigh-Anne's bravery beads. For every test she received, every blood draw, port access, surgery, injection- even when she lost her hair. There's a bead that represents every step of her journey," says Adele Cox.
That journey has been filled with support from nearly an entire community. A GoFundMe page for Leigh-Anne has raised more than $17,000.
"It's been rough, but everything happens for a reason," says Leigh-Anne.
Classmates and co-workers have showed support from the very beginning. And just a few weeks ago, the day everyone was waiting for, as Leigh-Anne was finally cancer free.
"It was probably the most amazing sound in the whole world. We anticipated this day happening since the beginning," says her mother Adele.
Friends, family, teachers and even co-workers made the five hour drive to the IWK in Halifax to share the special moment. A big surprise for Leigh-Anne who wasn't expecting so many people.
"I had a little panic attack, but I was so happy at the same time," says Leigh-Anne.
Thanks in part to that support and the determination of a little girl that believed, Leigh-Anne Cox is now cancer free.
With files from CTV Atlantic's Kyle Moore.