By Joe Royle

12th February 2019

When 11-year-old Cherish-Rose Lavelle was complaining of stomach troubles in Queensland, Austrailia, she was eventually taken to a doctor who took one look at her and thought that she was pregnant. Her condition was such that nobody was quite sure what else it could be. Her stomach was inflated and her weakness was apparent but it wasn’t until the doctors investigated further that they discovered something much more sinister than an 11-year-old pregnant girl.

In fact, she had been exhibiting many symptoms but she was unaware of her condition as well and it apparently changed the way she behaved. Her mother says that she was not acting like her same, cheerful self and that she seemed melancholy and depressed a lot lately. Since her mother had no real clues as to why her daughter’s personality was changing, she was unsure on how to help out her daughter.

It was even suggested that her daughter was being bullied at school by the other girls for “gaining weight”. Her mother had a discussion with her about body image and she let her know that she shouldn’t let the other girls get to her like that. Little did either of them know what was really going on with this little girl. It wasn’t until she was taken to the doctor for a routine checkup that they discovered something that no parent ever wants to hear about their child. This news literally rocked their world. So much so, that mom decided to not even tell her 11-year-old daughter what was going on with her body as she was being rushed to emergency specialists who immediately began to provide her with life saving treatments with hopes of getting her back to her old self. . . Eventually.

This story will have you wondering how this even happened to her and why it took so long to discover that something way horribly wrong:

It all started when she began to lose weight.

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In addition to the claims that other kids were making about this 11-year -old “gaining weight” jer mother, Louise, was beginning to notice that her daughter was actually losing weight rapidly and so she decided to take her daughter to a routine checkup with the doctor. What happened after that was something that shocked everyone! There’s really nothing on earth that can prepare a parent for the news that she was about to hear but thankfully, she was now in good hands and the process of eliminating the process was now underway. Unfortunately, it was going to be a long road to recovery. . .

It wasn’t good news at all.

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Her mother was extremely concerned about her at this point, saying, “You always hear of families going through similar things but you never think it’ll happen to you. I was in Hervey Bay with my business on Friday, and she said to me she was tired all the time and lethargic. She was in a lot of pain, so the next day I took her to the doctors.” This was a smart move because what they discovered was going to change their lives and it was going to take an immense amount of effort in order to treat her condition and hopefully get her back to being a normal, teenage girl again.

She was submitted to all sorts of tests.

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The diagnosis was important so that they knew how to properly treat her.

She was just not acting the same as before.

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Her mother finally noticed this change in her behavior and said,  “It wasn’t like her. She got picked on at various school for being chubby. Not a lot, just enough for her to tell me, ‘I need lose weight, Mummy.’ I’d say, ‘It’s okay darling, it’s just baby fat- – we had mother and daughter talks like that. But this was different.”

This was a real mother and daughter moment.

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A lot of young girls feel awkward about their appearance, and it’s up to their mother’s to help them get through these feelings because they will soon pass.

Her daughter was bullied about her weight in the past.

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Therefore, Louise wants to remind parents that even though she jumped to conclusions about her daughter’s well-being based up this, to also be aware that it could be a more serious condition and to look into all of these options.

She had no idea what was going on with her daughter.

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She noticed a lot of adverse changes, saying, “She was just not eating. Her arms were narrow, her little legs were getting skinny, but she had this big swollen belly. And I thought, what is going on?” She was hoping for an easy solution when she took her daughter to the doctor, but that’s not what she got at all.

“She’s very theatrical and has lots of personalities but then all of a sudden she was always tired and didn’t seem as happy.”

She needed immediate, medical attention.

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However, when her daughter started to complain of stomach and back pains, she was taken to a doctor who was immediately able to determine that this girl needed some medical attention.

These tests revealed something pretty severe.

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That’s when they discovered that a tumor was growing in her ovaries. Also, the reason that the tumor was even there was because of an aggressive germ-cell cancer, and this has caused her a great deal of pain. She was even beginning to act differently, according to her mother. She went from being a pretty happy little girl into one that was sad and in pain all the time as the tumor grew inside of her.

Once this tumor was discovered, she was taken to a hospital in Hervey Bay and then put in a plane to Brisbane to get the medical attention that she desperately needed.

There was nothing that a counselor could do to help her.

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Since the cause of the tumor was cancer, everyone had to agree that she was going to have to move forward with treatments and this meant that she was going to miss out on much of her sixth-grade year in school. This was a real disappointment to her.

She went through the treatment.

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Regardless, we all know that aggressive treatment is how you combat aggressive cancer such as this. Therefore, she needed chemotherapy to shrink the massive tumor so that it could be surgically removed from her body. Then, she would need radiation to attack cancer which caused this tumor to begin with.

Now, many people are hoping for a full recovery.

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At first, she thought that her daughter was suffering from anorexia due to the bullying that she was going through at school and she even sought the help of a counselor to help her daughter with any of these difficulties.

The outcome sounded like it was going to be positive!

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Her mother says, “It made my heart happy when I heard the news. Although she still has a long journey ahead, it’s comforting to know she has a huge change and she’ll go back to the bubbly and happy girl she was before.”

The treatment wasn’t going to be easy.

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Her mother replies about her daughter’s well-being during this difficult time, “This morning she was bright and smiling, but now, she is very down. She’s not feeling great.”

It could be a serious medical condition.

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Upon further inspection of her condition, it was revealed that she was suffering from a tumor (weighing 10-kg) that was growing inside her stomach! Apparently, this is large enough for doctors to initially believe that she was carrying a child inside of her body! She talked about her daughter’s cancer in front of her but she did keep it a secret for a while.

Cherish-Rose first discovered her condition by reading it in the paper.

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Her mother was trying to keep her spirits up before revealing this heartbreaking information. She didn’t want her daughter to start all of this without any hope.

It’s a devastating thing to hear.

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So, her mother finally came clean about her condition and told her everything.

She explained the process that she was about to endure.

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She also let her know that it was she was going to have a positive outcome even though,  “she’ll lose her hair and have to go through all the yucky stuff. But she has the support of her family and friends, and the amount of support from the community has been incredible.

Things seemed to have gone well.

“She had a procedure done (on Tuesday) to make an opening for the chemo to go into rather than it going into her arms,” Ms Lavelle said.

“The chemo will shrink the tumour rapidly in two weeks so it can be removed.”

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But she’s still got a tough few months ahead.

Cherish-Rose will undergo a further 6 months of chemo to get rid of her tumor. Things won’t be easy for her but she has a lot of people around her who love her dearly.

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She’s got her loved ones around her. 

Her friends and family have been going to visit her regularly to keep her spirits up.

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Positive news from the doctors.

Although times are going to be hard for Cherish, the doctors have assured Ms Lavelle and her family that there is a very high chance of cure.

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Great news for her mum.

“It made my heart happy when I heard the news,” she said.

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We’re hoping she recovers very well.

“Although she still has a long journey ahead, it’s comforting to know she has a huge chance and she’ll go back to the bubbly and happy girl she was before.”

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 She will have to be homeschooled.

Unfortunately, Cherish-Rose will have to stay at home and be homeschooled until she has fully recovered.
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Year 6.

Cherish won’t be able to join the rest of her friends in Year 6 until she’s feeling much better.
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It’s been a tough year.

‘She suddenly lost 14-15kg and I started to demand food into her because I was frightened and then when the pain started in her belly and back I was clueless.

‘When I was told she had cancer I couldn’t stop crying, it broke my heart.

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Chemo has shrunk the tumor quickly.

‘Now I’ve been told that it is curable I am so relieved. Now my life has changed nothing else matters at all.’

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Cherish-Rose has received a lot of heartfelt messages.

Messages have been shared on social media wishing the young girl well. Social media can be very good for some things and I’m sure getting all of those lovely messages from people will cheer her up when she’s feeling low.
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Another blow for Ms Lavelle.

Ms Lavelle discovered the manager in her shop was allegedly abusing her role. She was found to be a fraudster and was immediately let go, leaving her very short staffed at such a stressful and upsetting time.
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It’s been a horrible ordeal.

“The blood count shows the tumour is active, which is scary, so it could be another two to four months before we can go home.” Ms Lavelle said the ordeal has been like going through hell. 
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“There was a point where she was crying hysterically and I thought she was saying she wanted nanny – my mum who passed away 10 years ago,” she said.
“Then I realised she was saying she wanted to go to nanny and I just broke down.”

Juiced TV.

It’s not all been lows for Cherish, while in hospital, she was approached by a camera crew from Juiced TV, a TV show broadcast throughout LadyCilentoo Children’s Hospital’s ward. She was asked to host her own episode.

It was like a dream come true.

“Before she got sick she joined a casting agency in Brisbane but not long after that she got sick,” Louise said.

“So it’s really nice that she was able to do something related while she was in hospital.”

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More good news.

Cherish-Rose will also be granted a wish by the Make a Wish Foundation once she recovers.

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Her wish.

Although she has plenty of things to pick from, Louise said she hoped to go on a cruise with her friends and family.

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Thanks for reading!

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