Brave Braes schoolgirl Ashlee Easton continues her cancer fight

editorial image

Ashlee Easton was just six when she was eventually diagnosed with neuroblastoma.

It was a terrible shock for parents Lisa and Donald, and big brother Jayden - particularly as to begin with the excruciating pain she was suffering was thought to be a food intolerance, or appendicitis.

In fact it was a form of cancer, and the diagnosis was the beginning of a long, harrowing fight against the disease that won not only the sympathy but also the support of everyone from neighbours to schoolfriends.

Ashlee faced the usual problems associated with chemotherapy, but has twice seen the disease retreat into relapse.

Then, late last year, it was back, and she was suddenly confronted with the reality of having to go through the whole medical process again.

You may also be interested in:

Police uncover £10,000 cocaine haul at Camelon property

Falkirk sex offender William Bermingham slashed in jail attack

Kindhearted duo join forces to help Falkirk homeless

But as Ashlee heads south for another series of trials this week, she is anything but downbeat about her prospects.

“The fact is that while she is now 12 she has never known anything else since she was six”, says Lisa.

“From that age onwards she hasn’t had the chance to be completely free of this illness forever.”

There has been masses of local support over the years and an unforgettable trip to Disneyland, and most recently a donation of nearly £1700 from Braes High from the proceeds of a dress down day and staff coffee morning.

“Those efforts are amazing, and we cannot thank people enough,” says Lisa.

But with the future now uncertain she says she has to prepare for what happens if NHS treatment is no longer effective.

Lisa said: “With treatment options now limited, we joined together with Solving Kids Cancer to try and raise funds for Ashlee. This is in case she needs to access further treatment not available on NHS, to hopefully keep the cancer from returning if she reaches remission — or to try and clear the disease if her current treatment does not go to plan.”

She’s hoping a local company might even consider sponsoring Ashlee’s cause as she faces the next set of challenges.

“Most people have never even heard of neuroblastoma,” says Lisa, “because it’s the sort of thing that wouldn’t cross your mind unless you knew somebody who had it.

“Yet it could be anyone’s child, and I hope Ashlee’s experience has helped to show what this disease means for young lives.”

Ashlee isn’t suffering bad side effects from chemotherapy this time, and is as upbeat as ever about the future — but, few would disagree, she really deserves that support.

For the Easton family the last six years have been a saga of triumphs and setbacks, but last month they quietly marked a rather special anniversary.

Five years earlier they had somehow got through “the longest day ever” as “amazing” surgeons at Yorkhill Hospital removed Ashlee’s abdominal tumour.

“Words can’t express how frightened we were”, said her mum Lisa, “and the relief we felt when we could be by her side again many hours later.”

Many more anxious moments were to come in the years which followed, but that critical operation simply had to be a success. Ashlee’s Justgiving page explains the ordeals she has had to go through since then — but that battle brought realistic hope, and her fight goes on.