Sarah Patterson is a nine year old who is feeling pretty lucky this week.
This weekend, the Patterson family are on a cruise ship together to Port Douglas – courtesy of the Make-A-Wish foundation.
“I’m most looking forward to the water slides,” Sarah said.
“I’ve been on them at Wet N’ Wild before but never one on a ship.”
Sarah is currently in remission following the discovery of a cancer on her abdomen two years ago.
While a quad bike accident and a fall from a flying fox seem decidedly unlucky, it was these two events that led to the early detection of a nine-centimetre square tumour on Sarah’s abdomen – potentially saving her life.
Diligent doctors tending to the injuries of the flying fox incident discovered the stage two Wilms tumour.
The Pattersons were advised that the anomaly would not have shown up on Sarah’s x-ray had part of the cancer not calcified as a result of the quad bike accident.
In July 2016, Sarah underwent surgery to remove the tumour and her left kidney, that same month she began chemotherapy treatment which would last until Christmas.
Thanks to an early detection, successful surgery and the chemotherapy the prognosis for a full recovery is 90 percent – although Sarah will require hospital check ups every three months until her 13th birthday.
Mum, Jewell Patterson, said Sarah is still the positive, young girl she was before the cancer.
“She’s still a bit of a tomboy, she likes fishing and she’s very active,” Mrs Patterson said.
“It hasn’t dented her spirit.”
Mrs Patterson said the quarterly scans get them all a bit nervous, especially following the detection of a spot on her spleen mid last year – which turned out to be nothing.
She said both her and Sarah can’t speak highly enough of the Make-A-Wish team, with the cruise itinerary exceeding everyone’s expectations.
“We’ve just moved to Orange so there’s been a lot of change recently,” said Mrs Patterson.
“We’re excited to have some time off together.”