At long last, 4-year-old Audrina Hatton-Wright was able to ring her hospital’s “cancer bell” to celebrate the end of one of her treatments to fight off a rare and deadly disease — and she did so while dressed as a Star Wars character!
Ever since Audrina was diagnosed with high-risk neuroblastoma in July 2018, she has undergone numerous rounds of chemotherapy and multiple operations, including a surgery to remove the tumor in December. Yet, her most recent procedure, a stem cell transplant while taking high dose chemotherapy, was the hardest yet.
“[It was] absolutely heartbreaking as we watched our baby girl go through some horrific symptoms,” mom Gemma Gould wrote on the family’s website. “Audrina had to resort to sign language due to an unbearably painful mouth and we held her as she vomited blood and experienced hallucinations from the high level of morphine required to ease her pain.”
“I will never forget those weeks or the bravery Audrina showed,” she added.
According to FOX 7 Austin, Audrina has endured 14 rounds of radiation, four rounds of chemotherapy and four operations since being diagnosed with the neuroblastoma, a rare childhood cancer that often starts in the abdominal area. For high-risk patients, the five-year survival rate is only 50 percent, according to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
The disease can cause symptoms such as a hard, painless mass in the neck, loss of appetite, leg weakness and stomach pain, the hospital says.
Audrina recently completed months of therapy at Nottingham Radiotherapy Center in England, and she had a special idea to mark the occasion — she dressed up as a silver Stormtrooper from Star Wars to ring the hospital’s “ceremonial bell,” a tradition for patients who have reached the end of their treatment.
Video posted to the family’s Facebook page, Keep Audrina Dancing, shows the young girl marching triumphantly to the bell, while surrounded by hospital staff holding lightsabers. The footage has received thousands of views since it was posted.
While Audrina’s time at Nottingham Radiotherapy Center has come to an end, her treatment has not — the family is now hoping to raise money to fly from the United Kingdom to New York to have her participate in a clinical trial that may help her avoid a reoccurrence of the tumor.
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“It is imperative Audrina receives this treatment to ensure her cancer does not return and she can finally get back to living a normal life and enjoying her childhood,” reads a description on a GoFundMe page set up to raise funds for the trip.
In just over five months, the family has raised more than $75,000 of their $254,000 goal from thousands of donors.
“The world needs kids like Audrina to keep hope and happiness alive,” Audrina’s mother wrote on the family’s website. “Together we can do this for Audrina. Please. Help make that happen. Help my little girl survive this. Help give Audrina the chance to grow up.”