Swimming-mad schoolgirl back in the water again after life-saving cancer treatment in USA

Amelia Brome went to the USA for life-saving cancer treatment Credit: MEN Media

A swimming-mad schoolgirl who travelled more than 4,000 miles for life-saving cancer treatment has been given the go-ahead to get back into the pool - 10 months on.

Amelia Brome – described by her parents as ‘part-fish’ – was forced to stop her four-times-a-week swims after being diagnosed with a rare nasal cancer.

The 10-year-old began chemotherapy and was referred to The Christie Hospital in Manchester, but doctors soon discovered her tumour was inoperable.

Medics told the youngster’s parents her only chance of long-term survival was to undergo proton beam therapy (PBT) in Florida, USA.

The treatment – which will be available at The Christie from August 2018 – is a form of radiotherapy that targets cancers very precisely, increasing success rates and reducing side-effects.

It also limits the risk to a child’s organs that are still growing by causing less damage to surrounding healthy tissue.

Amelia, who lives in Preston, Lancashire, flew out to Jacksonville in April and underwent 30 sessions of PBT before finally returning home in early July.

In recent weeks, she was given the go-ahead to get back in the water and parents Michael and Cheryl said they could not be happier.

Michael said: “This is a moment we feared at times we might not see

“Amelia couldn’t wait. She just loves to pretend she is a dolphin or a mermaid.”

Michael explained that Amelia first fell unwell towards the beginning of last year when she developed a cold, which she could not shake off.

After six weeks her mother took her to her GP who prescribed antibiotics for sinusitis, but when her symptoms did not improve and she began having severe headaches, Cheryl took her to Royal Preston Hospital, where sinusitis was again confirmed.

It was not until a different GP noticed that Amelia’s eye was partially closed that she was sent to Royal Preston Hospital for an urgent MRI.

Later that same day, Michael and Cheryl were given the devastating news that a sizeable mass had been identified in Amelia’s nasal cavity.

She was transferred to the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital where doctors confirmed she had nasal rhabdomyosarcoma, which is an uncommon soft-tissue sarcoma.

Michael praised the treatment his daughter received in America, but said it was difficult to be so far from home and away from their support networks.

Michael added: “It would all have been so much easier if Amelia had been able to have her treatment in Manchester, and we are so glad knowing that proton beam therapy is coming to The Christie next year.”