A 13-year-old Radlett girl who recently left hospital after lengthy treatment for a rare form of cancer has thrown a thank-you party for those who have helped her.
Just over a year ago, Immanuel College pupil Alana Jacobs was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a form of bone cancer which mainly affects young people.
The Sydney-born teenager subsequently spent nine months in University College Hospital undergoing intensive chemotherapy, interspersed with an operation to remove the tumour. “Miraculously,” according to her mother Alison, doctors were able to replace her femur with a prosthetic bone which can be extended as she grows to full height.
She is now back full-time at Immanuel, where staff and students “have been incredibly supportive.
“Alana has shown amazing determination, overcoming everything she has had to go through, including having to learn to walk again,” Mrs Jacobs added. “Though she will have to return to hospital for regular check-ups, we are all extremely positive about her future.”
Her party was organised by Rays of Sunshine, a charity with many Jewish volunteers which grants wishes to young people with serious or life-threatening illnesses. Rather than popular choices such as a Disneyland trip, Alana asked the charity for an event to both celebrate the successful conclusion of her treatment and to thank family, friends, Immanuel pupils and medical staff for their help and support.
The party took place at the Village Hotel, Elstree, on Monday and was attended by 130 people. “It was absolutely amazing to be able to dance with my family and friends,” Alana said.
“It was unbelievable that so many people volunteered their time to make my dream party come true and it feels great to know that I’ve raised enough money through the kind donations of the people who were there to make another child’s dream come true.”