Plymouth seven-year-old Rebecca winning fight against leukaemia
PLYMOUTH girl Rebecca Cotter finally has something to smile about.
After two years of battling leukaemia the bubbly seven-year-old is now in remission and her family are delighted they can start to live a normal life again.
Rebecca's journey has been anything but normal since her diagnosis with the deadly disease in 2011.
The family had to transform their home in Cattedown into a mini hospital ward, full of medicines and anti-bacterial spray, but this epitomised Rebecca's parents' determination to look after their little girl.
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Speaking to The Herald at the beginning of her daughter's treatment, mum Maria Escalonilla said her daughter is a fighter and will fight all the way, and it seems that all of that fighting is starting to pay off, after brave Rebecca finished her chemotherapy on May 18 this year.
Mum Maria said: "Rebecca is doing really well now, she's feeling much better, and is starting to live the life of a normal little girl, just like she used to.
"The last two years have been emotional and it has been very hard on the whole family especially obviously Rebecca but also it's been tough for her little brother Maxxie. He's only five and he's been really strong and supportive to his sister.
"Although it has been really difficult we've had a lot of support from people, in particular my mum. She has been a huge help to me and the family as a whole.
"We found that the troubles Rebecca has faced have brought us together as a family and made us very strong."
Maria and her family are now keen to help raise money and awareness for charities that are designed to help children.
Maria herself has recently been working to raise money for CLIC Sargent, a charity which has supported Rebecca. She is also keen to promote Hugs for Henry, which is a Plymouth-based charity which is raising money for four-year-old Henry Hallam who has been diagnosed with neuroblastoma.
The family are soon off on holiday to Disneyland Paris, which is all paid for by the Starlight Children's Foundation who grant wishes for sick children.
Doctors described Rebecca's illness as a 'puzzle' when she first went into the hospital because it was very confusing; however it now seems Rebecca's puzzle is beginning to be pieced together.