MIKAYLA NEEDS OUR AID
By TOBY WALKER
LIKE most kids her age, Mikayla Pollington would probably be escaping the summer heat in a swimming pool or at the beach around this time of year.
But since being diagnosed with Hodgkin's disease, the 10-year-old has had to keep out of the sun as she waits for an intensive regime of chemotherapy to rid her body of cancerous cells.
In August Mikayla returned home from a soccer carnival at Westlawn when she noticed an abnormal lump on her thigh. Believing it to be nothing more than a muscle tear, her mum, Kelli Cowan, rubbed some deep heat on it, expecting the swelling to eventually go down.
Although Mikayla was not complaining of any pain, Kelli decided to take her daughter to the doctor after the lump failed to disappear.
About a fortnight later, they were in the office of the third doctor they had visited when they received a call telling them that the results of a biopsy had confirmed Mikayla's illness.
Luckily, the disease had not reached an advanced stage, allowing Mikayla and her mum to leave their South Grafton home for Brisbane immediately so the girl could undergo treatment to beat the disease.
Hodgkin's disease is cancer of the lymphatic system. The lymphatic system is the body's infection fighter.
Since September, the pair have been returning to Brisbane monthly to ensure Mikayla battles through the chemotherapy program and returns to full health.
But her fight to beat it has meant she has had to give up doing many of the things she loves in order to prevent any chance of contracting an illness that could attack her immune system. Recently she has twice been sick with streptococcal infection and had pneumonia.
Although it has been tough on Kelli and Mikayla, they have had the joy of welcoming a new member to the household after Kelli gave birth to Lillian during the hectic time.
Mikayla will return to Brisbane at the end of February to receive her final round of treatment, hopefully ushering in a happy period that can allow her return to full health.
In the meantime, the community has got behind the mother and daughter to raise money to assist with the associated medical costs of the intensive treatment.