The little girl who has spent almost half her life in hospital with cancer

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While other children her age were starting nursery, Lottie Bowen was being rushed into hospital after being diagnosed with cancer.

The little girl, from Skewen , had just turned three years old when her family received the devastating news that she had acute lymphoblastic leukaemia.

After feeling very lethargic and going off her food, one morning Lottie, now aged five, woke up with a cut on the top of her lip which had become infected.

She was initially given antibiotics but when she didn’t get any better another GP advised that she was taken to Morriston Hospital.



Lottie had to miss out on going to nursery as she battled cancer for the last two years



After being referred to hospital by a GP just hours later Lottie was having surgery ready for her treatment to start

Her mum, Emily Bowen, said: “She had been very lethargic and had no energy, would sleep on my lap all day and had high temperatures. She also had blood bruises on her skin.

“They were telling me that it was just a viral infection but we took her to hospital and she was diagnosed.

“I just remember having to leave the room, I was a mess. It totally shattered my world.

“She was so poorly that they took blood straight away in Morriston Hospital and she had to have transfusions before they blue-lighted us up to Cardiff.

“Her treatment started straight away and we arrived at 10pm on a Thursday night and she went into surgery at 9am on the Friday morning.

“She had a four-hour surgery to have her chemotherapy port set up and then she’s been having chemotherapy for the last two years.”

 

As a single mum, Miss Bowen gave up her job of 13 years in Morrisons, in order to focus on her caring for her daughter and helping her to recover.



Lottie will soon get to ring the bell at Noah’s Ark children’s hospital in Cardiff to mark the end of her treatment



Miss Bowen gave up work to focus on caring for her daughter while she was battling the high risk acute lymphoblastic leukaemia

The 32-year-old added: “The first 10 months were really hard. It involved a lot of chemotherapy, surgery and lumbar punctures while she was in Noah’s Ark children’s hospital in Cardiff .

“It was really hard for me with the anxiety of her getting ill or catching a cold or chickenpox.

“We were basically in isolation for the first 10 months as we couldn’t have visitors or go out for food in case she got ill.

“Her hair started falling out after the first week and it all eventually fell out in one night. That was a very emotional night because you then know it’s real.

“I haven’t worked since she was diagnosed and it’s been emotionally overwhelming. I needed to be free in case she was ill, I needed to have that freedom.

“She’s got high risk acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (a blood cancer that affects every part of her body) which means it was a bit harder to get rid of than normal.

“I wouldn’t wish it on anybody, especially a child.

“She has missed out on all of nursery as she was diagnosed three days after she was meant to start.”



Five-year-old Lottie is obsessed with Disney so her mum is fundraising to take her to Disneyland in Florida to mark the end of her treatment



Miss Bowen is aiming to raise £1,000 to take her daughter on the “trip of a lifetime”

 

As the end of Lottie’s treatment draws closer, her mum wants to treat her to a trip to Disneyland in Florida to mark the end of her long battle.

“She is absolutely obsessed with Disney,” Miss Bowen said.

“She loves Toy Story and all of the princesses and watches all of the parades on YouTube.

“We have applied with Rays of Sunshine to go to Florida but it can range from £400 to £700 just for her insurance.

“I need to just get her there and see her face. It would be a once in a lifetime trip for her and she would get to meet all of the characters.

“We are hoping to play the trip for the beginning of the summer next year so I’m hoping to raise £1,000.

“She’s been absolutely amazing throughout her treatment so it would mean the world to be able to go.

“She deserves it.”

When she finally finishes her treatment at Noah’s Ark, Lottie will get to ring the bell to signify that she can go home for good.

So far Miss Bowen’s fundraising page has received around £400 of its £1,000 target. You can visit her page here.



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