'The best day of my life': Brave Lora gets all-clear from cancer
SHE amazed her doctors as she fought cancer with a positive outlook on life.
Now, schoolgirl Lora Doyle has received the news she had longed to hear – she is clear of cancer.
The 15-year-old went public with her battle against Hodgkin's lymphoma in January to inspire other young people after she ignored a growing lump on her neck for months.
After undergoing almost two months of gruelling chemotherapy, last month, Lora, from Arklow, Co Wicklow, had "the best day of my life" when her mother received a phone call saying the schoolgirl had the all-clear.
"I was in the shower and I just heard mum screaming. She said, 'Lora, come here' and she was crying. I was just really excited," she recalled.
Despite her tender years, Lora amazed her family and doctors with her determined attitude after she was diagnosed in early January.
She wrote a letter to the Irish Independent urging other young people to watch out for the signs of cancer.
"It's shocking, but I want to make something positive out of it, there's no point crying at home," she said at the time.
And that upbeat outlook saw her through the rigours of treatment with only the odd falter.
"I kept positive for most of it, but it is normal to have days when everything just felt like it was crumbling around you.
"It was my friends and my family that picked me up," the schoolgirl said this week.
Lora turned 15 on March 18, just a week after she finished her last session of chemotherapy.
"The day of my birthday I was feeling weak but I didn't want to stay in. I went out with my friends – but I suffered for it the next day," she laughed.
The third-year student had hoped to sit her Junior Cert next month, however studies had to take a back seat as she spent two months shuttling back and forth from home to Our Lady's Hospital for Sick Children in Crumlin.
"I was up and down to Crumlin and I went to school for a few days but being in class was a bit weird because everyone knew what I was going through. I'd go home and I'd just be exhausted.
"I had planned to do it (Junior Cert), but the stress of it was not what I needed with chemotherapy."
For now she is concentrating on building up her strength. "I'm still knackered, but I'm doing better than I was.
"I'll get a check-up every three months for a while and then every six months and then every year. There will always be check-ups throughout my life," she explained.
In her typical positive style, Lora has been busy fundraising by organising a no-uniform day in a number of local schools.
She will give the €4,500 she raised to the St John's ward for cancer patients at Crumlin.