Great start to the new year as Lily Mae's scan results show all clear
THE parents of 'Tiny Dancer' Lily-Mae Morrison have said the New Year has got off to "the best possible start" after their daughter's latest scan results came back clear.
The courageous six-year-old, who suffers from Stage 4 Neuroblastoma, returned from the US over the weekend after reaching the halfway stage of a life-saving 27-month clinical trial.
Crucial tests, conducted at Helen de Vos hospital in Michigan, confirmed the Galway youngster is still in remission and has now been cancer-free for 15 months.
Her parents Judith Sibley and Leighton Morrison said the results have given them a huge boost, as it means Lily-Mae is edging out of the so-called "danger zone" for relapsing.
"The highest chance of a relapse is in the first 18 months of remission, so we've now just another three months to go before she reaches that stage.
"That doesn't mean this monster will never return, but there will be less risk," Judith said.
"Basically, the longer she remains clear of cancer, the better her chances of survival. The first 18 months represent the highest chance of a relapse.
"But we're obviously delighted and it's the best possible start to 2015 that we could have wished for," she said.
Judith said the results have once again reassured her that the phase II clinical trial Lily-Mae is undergoing represents her best chance of a return to full health.
"This is our sixth visit to the US as part of the treatment programme and we couldn't really be any happier with the way things have gone.
"The statistics are very encouraging, particularly when you take into account that on a global scale, around 70pc of children whose cancer is in remission will relapse at some stage."
Judith said it wasn't only Lily-Mae's scan results that gave her family a huge lift during their latest trip to the US hospital.
"While we were over there, Lily-Mae was present at two cheque presentations, including one to the hospital for €1m by a man whose son was cured by the same treatment.
"We also met the researcher, who spent 14 years working on and setting up this clinical trial and he cried when he saw Lily-Mae taking her pills," she said.