Family is given the best news
THE parents of Bowen youngster Mia Depuit are over the moon after receiving the news that their 21-month-old daughter is cancer free.
The couple received news of the "all clear" on February 7 after tests revealed no malignant tissue found in Mia's body.
Mia's father Ben Depuit said the news, which came as a shock to he and his wife Nicole, left them both ecstatic.
"We're over the moon she's cancer free and we can start to rebuild our lives again after a horrible eight months," Mr Depuit said.
"Early on it was very touch and go, but she has constantly improved over time.
"Now she's keeping us on our toes and she's loving life."
The news is light at the end of the tunnel after a dark eight months for the couple following her diagnosis in July 2018.
After noticing some abnormality in her stomach during a routine check-up, a CAT scan revealed a 10cm tumour, called an adrenal cortical carcinoma, had embedded itself on her adrenal gland.
The diagnosis was the beginning of a nightmare for the young family, who over the next several months had to relocate to Brisbane and then Victoria.
Mr Depuit said the family would look at the possibility of staying permanently in Victoria to meet Mia's ongoing health needs.
"She does have a genetic deficiency which puts her at a higher risk of cancer," he said.
"With that genetic deficiency she's got to complete regular routines and blood tests over the course of her life, so we have to constantly keep an eye on her to make sure she's doing all right.
"We have to be fairly close to a good medical facility, and if we came home to Bowen it would be too much pressure on the Bowen Hospital because we'd require airlifting if something went wrong,"
Mr Depuit said that without an adrenal gland, Mia now got her daily dose of hormones via a tablet.
He said she would continue to have a mild form of chemotherapy for the next couple of months to ensure she remained in remission.
"It's not as aggressive as other forms of chemo so she's started growing hair again and she's looking like a normal kid should," he said.
Mr Depuit said the ordeal had had their family hit rock bottom.
He said they could not thank Bowen and the greater Whitsundays community enough for their ongoing support which had helped get them through some dark days.
He said they would become bigger, better and stronger.
"You really can't explain it to someone until they've been through it themselves," he said.
"It doesn't just affect the child, it affects the whole family, so we've had to go through hell and back to get to where we are today.
"Going through something like this really makes you appreciate the little things you have in life."