Evie-Mai, who was diagnosed with Wilms, wishes to visit her Uncle David in Sweden!
Evie-Mai is six years old. She lives with her sister, two brothers and her mum in Merseyside. She used to be a boisterous little tomboy. All that changed when Evie was diagnosed with Wilms, a type of kidney cancer, last summer.
From bad to worse
“I knew something was wrong because she was so tired all the time - she would fall sleep even on a 15 minute car journey,” Mum, Rebecca, explains. “Then, early one morning she was screaming in pain. At hospital, things went from bad to worse, as Evie’s belly swelled up and she couldn’t walk.
“When the doctors sat me down, I had never heard of Wilms and didn’t fully understand. I just thought they could take out her kidney and she could have mine – I was ready to do anything in that moment.
A ticking time-bomb
“Evie started chemo the same day she was diagnosed. Since then, every single day has been like a whirlwind and I still haven’t grieved for those days.
“As a parent, I blamed myself. I couldn’t understand how this thing was so big inside Evie and I missed it. I was second guessing everything - was there something I could have done to stop this or to find it earlier? It turns out Wilms can be present from birth and it’s a ticking time bomb – there’s no way of telling how long Evie’s tumour, which grew to the size of a watermelon, was growing for.
Putting grown adults to shame
“Evie fought through four weeks of intense chemotherapy to shrink it, and then surgery too. When her hair started to fall out, that was the hardest thing to explain to her at just five-years-old. Her reflexes have been badly affected, and her personality has changed – she's quieter now and looks to me for reassurance.
"The scarring was much worse than doctors expected and her pain was so strong that they gave her an epidural. But she is stubborn and, three days after surgery, she was whizzing around on her scooter with this huge scar on her stomach. She puts grown adults to shame!”
Beautiful landscapes await in Sweden
Evie-Mai’s favourite Uncle moved to Sweden a few years back and Evie has always wanted to visit him there. The family had a holiday booked last year but had to cancel when Evie was diagnosed.
She’s seen pictures of the snow and the beautiful, peaceful landscapes and is desperate to see it for herself.
“It will be a time for Evie and I to have a breather away from reality,” Rebecca explains. “My mum is going to look after the other children while we go to Sweden. Evie can’t believe her wish is being granted, and I can’t believe I’m getting my daughter back.”