RENE Murnane Hayes has every reason to smile after her very last session of chemotherapy. The brave 13-year-old has finally completed her cancer treatment more than two years after her diagnosis.
To mark the special occasion at Our Lady's Children's Hospital in Crumlin, she was pictured holding a banner reading: "Today is my last chemo day – because of these heroes I kicked cancer's ass."
Rene, from Bantry, Co Cork, was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia in November 2011.
"She felt tired, lethargic, and it persisted for about a fortnight. A blood test was done and unfortunately that's what it was," her dad Brendan said.
RENE WAS TAKEN TO THE CRUMLIN HOSPITAL THE MORNING AFTER HER DIAGNOSIS, WHICH HAD COME AS A "BIG SHOCK", HER DAD SAID. SINCE THEN, HER JOURNEY TO RECOVERY HAS NOT BEEN WITHOUT ITS TRIALS.
One of the lowest points for Mr Hayes and his family was when Rene suffered a stroke, in May 2012. "We rushed her to hospital and she had clots on both sides of the brain. It was a significant stroke, but she made a full recovery," he said.
Rene, the eldest of three children, received her treatment at the Mercy University Hospital in Cork under Dr Clodagh Ryan, as well as at Crumlin, and her dad said he wanted to highlight their "sterling work".