A BRAVE Moray youngster is proving a real inspiration to her family as she battles cancer.
Abbie Main (11) has just completed her second treatment of chemotherapy at the Royal Aberdeen Children’s Hospital.
The Elgin youngster celebrated her birthday while in hospital and is now back home recovering while she awaits her next chemo.
The West End Primary pupil was diagnosed with a rare cancer in September after doctors initially thought she had a thyroid cyst.
She faces up to six months of chemotherapy followed by radiotherapy at Yorkhill Children’s Hospital in Glasgow.
Abbie’s parents Russell and Tammy and brother Cameron (13) have been amazed at her spirit.
Said Russell: “The one thing that is keeping the family strong is Abbie’s resilience. People say children are resilient and strong when facing things like this but I would never have believed that before.
“However, Abbie is so positive and has given us all inspiration. She is helping us through it.”
After chemo, Abbie’s immune system is low and she is susceptible to infection so she is confined to the family home in Elgin, with the occasional visit by friends and family.
“Everything seems to be going well,” added Russell, “although after her first chemo she picked up a temperature which meant she had to go back into hospital for five days.
“They originally diagnosed a thyroid cyst and it was only when Abbie went in to have routine surgery to have it removed that they discovered it was a cancerous tumour.”
Russell, who works offshore, thanked family and friends, particularly grandmothers Jenny and Helen for their support and said Abbie’s school has been fantastic.
“They make sure she is up to date with school work and have offered lots of support. They even took time out in her class to make individual cards for her birthday, which was lovely.” Abbie, who got home on Sunday following her second dose of chemo, had a treat when she met Archie, the official mascot of the children’s hospital.
“I took her to Florida last year and she didn’t really like Mickey Mouse and other characters like that; she doesn’t like people in big costumes but to see her standing proud as punch next to Archie the bear it was like a different girl.
“She has become so strong and mature in dealing with her situation,” added Russell.
Abbie’s situation has inspired Russell and Tammy to sign up for the Burghead Boxing Day Swim, with proceeds from the event going to the Moray Friends of ARCHIE appeal, Maggies Highland Cancer Centre and CLAN cancer support project in Moray.
“I have roped in lots of people who have done the swim before and said ‘never again’ to do it this year,” said Russell.
You can sign up for the swim at www.burgheadboxingdayswim.co.uk