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Brave young girl faces her second cancer battle

Allira’s tumour reappeared in her right lung after she was declared cancer-free earlier this year.
Allira’s tumour reappeared in her right lung after she was declared cancer-free earlier this year.

ALLIRA Wallace was declared cancer-free in February.

At just five years old, the Mackay girl had already faced the battle of a lifetime, having undergone and completed chemotherapy for Wilms' tumour, a cancer of her kidney.

Yet in August, the seemingly healthy, happy child underwent a routine test and was found with a tumour in her right lung.

Her grandmother Carmel Rankin couldn't believe it.

"It was a shock, because we all thought she was home and hosed. It was like 'you've got to be kidding me'," she said.

LOVING GESTURE: Allira Wallace’s grandmother Carmel Rankin will shave her head on Tuesday.
LOVING GESTURE: Allira Wallace’s grandmother Carmel Rankin will shave her head on Tuesday. Lucy Smith Contributed

"We had to realise that just because she looked happy and healthy, didn't mean there was nothing there."

Two weeks ago, Allira began her second round of chemotherapy, to fight the secondary Wilms' tumour in her lung.

At five, Allira has already lost her hair for the second time.

Her aunt Nancy Russell said she was scared of the future.

"She did say, not long after she found out, 'I'm going to die this time.' That's what she said to her mum," she said.

Miss Russell said Allira had started prep in Eimeo State School at the start of this year, and the hair loss had bothered her.

"She said she wants to be normal and why can't she come home. She wants to be a normal kid," she said.

"She does get upset about her hair, because she can't do anything with it.

Allira with her brother Tyler, father Brad and mother Jess.
Allira with her brother Tyler, father Brad and mother Jess.

"When she started school they'd have crazy hair days and stuff like that, and she couldn't do anything."

In a moment of solidarity, Mrs Rankin told Allira: "Nana's going to shave her head for you".

"It was more to make her happy. Then her mum said 'don't forget Nana's shaving her head.' It's become more of a reality now," she said.

"She loves the idea, she's over the moon."

Allira has chemotherapy treatments in Brisbane, putting financial and emotional strain on her family.

Carmel Rankin will have her head shaved at Hair Asylum next Tuesday, October 20.

To donate to the family, visit http://www.gofundme.com/ Allirasfight.

Topics:  brave cancer editors picks girl health mackay treatment


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