Leeds family hope cancer nightmare is over

Beth Hiley, and partner Rhys Large, of Yeadon, Leeds, with their daughter Isla-Grace Large.
Beth Hiley, and partner Rhys Large, of Yeadon, Leeds, with their daughter Isla-Grace Large.
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The parents of a brave two-year-old cancer patient are hoping her nightmare is over after being delivered the news that the tot’s rare condition is in remission.


Doctors have told Beth Hiley and Rhys Large, both 21, from Yeadon, that their young daughter Isla-Grace Large wont need to travel to the USA for proton beam radiotherapy as first thought. The youngster was diagnosed with a strain of cancer called Ewing’s sarcoma, which only affects around 30 children in the UK every year, in October last year after she developed a tumour on her neck.

The shock diagnosis sparked a fundraising campaign which generated £10,000 to support Isla’s family during a planned trip to Oklahoma for targeted radiotherapy but an operation to remove the rest of her tumour in March has proved so successful that she now doesn’t need to go.

After being told Isla’s operation was a success and no live cancer cells can now be found, mum Beth explained that the family is concentrating on making up for lost time with their daughter. She said: “We were absolutely gobsmacked when we got the news, as we got told that wouldn’t happen. After we‘d raised so much money it was a massive shock to the system. Now it’s getting her back into a normal life so that she can live as a two-year-old should live.”

Isla has the last of a series of eight low-dose chemotherapy sessions next month before her condition is monitored for five years in the hope the cancer does not return. The family will keep the funds raised in a trust in case Isla’s condition changes in the coming years before hopefully donating it to charities such as Candlelighters and CLIC Sargent.

It is hoped that she will start nursery in October before she has an operation to have her chemotherapy port taken out in December. Beth added: “I feel like this nightmare is coming to an end, you can’t put it into words but it’s also really scary because you lose your safety net in hospital. You’re not there as much and you feel a bit lost.”

For more on Isla’s journey, visit www.facebook.com/IslaGraceLarge.

What is Ewing’s sarcoma?

Ewing’s sarcoma usually occurs in bone, most commonly in the pelvis, thigh bone and shin, and in rare cases occurs in soft tissue.

Less than 30 people in the UK develop Ewing’s sarcoma every year.

The condition predominantly affects older children and teenagers, most commonly people aged 10 to 20.

It is named after Dr James Ewing who identified the tumour in the 1920s.

For further information visit www.nhs.uk/conditions/Ewings-sarcoma.