Samantha Griffiths and her husband experienced every parent’s worst nightmare when they were told their two-year-old daughter Meadow had Stage 4 germ cell cancer.
Unlike many children who contract the disease, Meadow survived six months of chemotherapy and the strong little girl was able to ring the End of Treatment Bell at Coventry Hospital this week.
The video of Meadow ringing the symbolic bell touched the hearts of many and brought the whole hospital, and much of the Internet, to tears as they watched her uplifting journey to recovery.
Here is the heart-warming video of Meadow ringing the bell…
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When Meadow was two years old, she has sever constipation and was put on medication for six months until a lump appeared on her coccyx.
Doctors then referred her to have an MRI scan at the cancer unit at Birmingham Children’s Hospital, and Samantha described the three-day wait for results as ‘the worst days of our lives, every minute felt like an hour’.
Speaking to UNILAD, Samantha said:
On the September 27 we were told Meadow did have cancer our world fell apart, we had nine-month-old twin girls at home to care for and at this point had been away from home for two weeks, so that and the diagnosis took its toll on us and all of our family.
The diagnosis was Germ Cell cancer it’s a tumour that’s started on the coccyx and showed it had spread to her lungs, Meadows was Stage 4. It’s such a rare cancer it only effect 1in 40,000 or so and equates to 1 percent of all childhood cancers.
We were told that the survival rate was good around 84 per cent, and we were told about the chemo she would need over six months she would have three full days of chemo in Coventry and then a three week break then more chemo this was over six months.
The side effects of the chemo we were told about were so upsetting, including lung problems, hearing problems, secondary cancers, hair loss and her immune system would be massively effected we were just thrown into a world we didn’t want to know about but had to.
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During her six months of chemotherapy, Meadow became very unwell, with her temperatures reaching 38C and immune system plummeting meaning she was constantly in and out of the hospital.
Meadow finished her chemotherapy in February but still had some tumour left, so that was removed along with her coccyx bone to reduce the chances of it recurring, however a side effect of this is that Meadow is resigned to a life of constipation.
She had the operation and amazed doctors. She was meant to be in for a week but after two days she was off morphine and running around.
Our brave little girl was so lucky to ring the end of treatment bell when so many other don’t get that chance we will never take that for granted.
The end of treatment bell was then rung in Coventry hospital for the first time, and I posted it to End of Treatment Bells where it seemed to touch so many hearts.
We’re over the moon our baby has beaten cancer.
End of Treatment Bells is a not-for-profit organisations that ‘aim to place bells into hospitals for children and adults with cancer to ring after their gruelling treatment’.
The idea of the bells came Tracey and and Phil Payton after their eight-year-old daughter Emma was diagnosed with soft tissue cancer in her face in 2013.
Emma underwent nine round of chemo, a nine hour operation and flew to Oklahoma for proton beam therapy, and when she came back, she was the first to ring the bell at Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital on April 9, 2014.
Speaking to UNILAD, Tracey Payton, founder of End of Treatment Bells, said:
Through The Maria Watt Foundation, we have placed a further 147 since then – including bells in the US and New Zealand.
The popularity of the bell is testament to the horrendous treatment people face when they receive a cancer diagnosis.
It’s more than a bell; it’s a symbol of hope. We receive hundreds of messages with photographs and videos to share on our page and we receive messages from people telling us they can’t wait for it to be their turn.
The popularity of Meadow’s video is phenomenal- she’s a little star! We applaud everyone who rings the bell, and wish them all the very best of health.
Meadow is going back to nursery next week and has monthly checks as she is in remission but will not be classed as cured for five years.
End of Treatment Bells wants to place a bell in as many hospital as they can, but with each one costing approximately £145 to make and distribute, they need all the help they can get. You can donate to their Just Giving page here.