In October 2017, Lila Brooker was a bright and active nine-year-old who loved singing, dancing and acting. After her optician noticed pressure behind her eyes during a routine eye examination, Lila was sent to hospital for a scan, where sadly she was diagnosed with an extremely rare tumour in the middle of her brain.
Initially, Lila underwent surgery to remove as much of her tumour as possible, in November she was referred to The Royal Marsden where she began six weeks of daily radiotherapy and started oral chemotherapy, which she has continued to take at home for the past 11 months.
Lila's mum Rebecca says
When we came to the hospital at the beginning of November it was like someone picked us up and gave us all a giant cuddle.
Groundbreaking cancer research has been critical for Lila, and thankfully her tumour has responded well to treatment. This December, just before Christmas, Lila is set to ring the end-of-treatment bell at The Royal Marsden’s Oak Centre for Children and Young People.
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Last Christmas, Lila and her family spent most of their time at The Royal Marsden. This year, Lila will be able to spend this special time at home.
Christmas was as good as it could have been. We couldn’t do very much at home as we were at The Royal Marsden every day. At the hospital, we would hang out longer than Lila’s treatment slot so we could do all the Christmas workshops. These involved lots of arts and crafts – and glitter!
Every time we came to the Oak Centre for Children and Young People, we always made it our first job to find Elf on the Shelf. It was good fun for Lila and her younger sister, Matilda, and it’s amazing how little things like that can get you through the day.
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