Brave Esme ‘on her way’ after bell rings to mark end of cancer treatment

Mum Anna, dad Rob, headteacher Suzanne Hall, teacher Lorna Wray, deputy headteacher Trisha Burton, with Esme and her friends

“A BOBBY dazzler of the highest order” is how brave Greenfield youngster Esme Fryer has been described after winning a two-year fight against cancer.

Esme, left, and sister Willow, 5

And Esme couldn’t have enjoyed a better belated eighth birthday present than ringing the bell at the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital on July 3 to mark the end of her treatment.

It’s been celebrations all the way since for the Taylor Swift fan who was eight on June 19.

At Boarshurst Band Club, family and friends arranged a party while fellow pupils at St Mary’s Primary School, watched by staff and parents, marked the occasion with a special assembly and dressing in ‘rainbow colours.’

They also wrapped themselves in Esme’s ‘Beads of Courage’ – a visual record and reminder of her 26-month long treatment for Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia (ALL).

The beads come in a variety of colours and each has a special meaning. They were for any treatment Esme received, such as chemotherapy, blood transfusions, overnight stays, etc.

Esme’s Year 3 teacher and deputy headteacher, Trisha Burton, led the assembly, describing her “great sense of humour.”

She added, drawing a laugh from onlookers: “Esme never moans or complains – unless I sing.”

Esme’s family, mum Anna, dad Rob and five-year-old sister Willow, always hoped for a happy conclusion to the story.

Mum Anna and dad Rob with teachers, Esme and her friends

But it’s been a testing time for everyone since Esme was diagnosed with ALL after initially feeling unwell for about five weeks.

“Esme was so brave and took everything in her stride with a smile on her face,” explained Rob.

“All treatment was going well until week four when Esme reacted badly to one of her medicines, having one of the very rare side effects, which resulted in a blood clot and small bleed to the brain.

“Thankfully, Esme continues to make a full recovery from this.”

Anna took up the story: “During the Delayed Intensification stage (intense chemo drugs administered more frequently) we expected Esme to be ill and not be able to attend school.

Esme ringing the bell at the end of her treatment

“However, Esme proved everyone wrong and continued attending school, even coming home at lunch time for the community nurse to administer the drugs and then going back into school for the afternoon.

“Esme has just blown everyone away with her strength and determination throughout her treatment.”

The best day of all came on July 3 when she attended ward 84 at RMCH to ‘ring the bell’. End of treatment bells, through the Maria Watt Foundation, are used to signify the end of cancer treatments.

Esme rang the bell three times after one of her nurses read out the following poem;

‘Ring this bell
three times well
its toll to clearly say
my treatments done
this course is run
and I am on my way.’

Rob added: “It was brilliant to see all the hospital staff who have supported Esme and our family recognise such a significant moment.

“The ringing of the bell was such a great idea to help celebrate end of treatment. We are so thankful for everyone’s help and support.”

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