A Bishop Auckland girl who was diagnosed with a stage four Wilms’ tumour last year is now in remission.

Rebecca Gargett, mother of Willow Hicks, 5, said the family were told on April 23 her daughter is now in remission – weeks after her daughter underwent her last chemotherapy session.

Willow was diagnosed with a Stage 4 Wilms’ tumour in August last year after complaining of stomach pain.

The Northern Echo: Willow Hicks Credit: REBECCA GARGETT

Ms Gargett said the family plan to have Willow officially ring the bell to signify her treatment is over at the end of May.

She added fundraisers have been held on behalf of Willow to raise money for charity Children’s Cancer North (CCN).

She added a fundraiser held on Willow’s behalf at Shildon Masonic Hall on April 6 raised around £5,000 for the charity – which she hopes may be matched by the Durham Freemasons Charity, raising the total to just over £10,000.

The Northern Echo: Willow Hicks Credit: REBECCA GARGETT

Speaking just before they were given the all-clear, she said “Since we last spoke, it hasn’t been too bad for us to be honest. She’s pretty much had a smile on her face.

“You just can’t thank people enough, we’ve had total strangers who’ve donated in, we’ve had people who’ve never met Willow in their life and these people are chucking money into charities and into things like the RVI.

“For us, as parents, all we want to do is raise the awareness that these things do happen, it’s not just a TV advert, it’s not something you read in the news, this actually happens to families.”

Ms Gargett said Willow has undergone six weeks of chemotherapy, before having her kidney removed, followed by another eight weeks of chemo.

The Northern Echo: Willow Hicks Credit: REBECCA GARGETT

She added Willow underwent an additional 18 weeks of chemotherapy after this.

Ms Gargett said the 13.8cm tumour in Willow’s kidney had died following the initial six weeks of treatment.

She said her daughter had “hundreds of tumours” in her lungs, the majority of them over 10mm, and they are all gone following her treatment.

Ms Gargett said her family, who have links to the Freemasons through the father of her partner, were grateful for all their support.

The Northern Echo: Willow Hicks Credit: REBECCA GARGETT

She added the family plan to turn the event into an annual fundraiser for CCN.

She thanked everyone who donated, RVI staff, and those who sent messages of support for helping them through the situation.

Speaking to the Echo shortly before being told Willow was cancer-free, Ms Gargett said: “The tumour that had overtaken her kidney which was just under 14cm was completely stone-cold dead when they removed that. There were no live cells at all.

“Willow had hundreds of tumours in her lungs, but as the chemotherapy has gone on, the difference has been amazing to see.

“That a 20ml syringe of whatever they’ve put in, or a 5ml syringe, has done what it’s done. It’s just pretty much cleared her lungs up as well.

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“It’s been hard, but it’s been nice to see that when we’ve been having these scans, you can see the changes.”

She added the latest CT scan showed two masses in her lungs over 2mm but said doctors believe this to be scar tissue.

Ms Gargett and her partner David Hicks have also been fundraising for Newcastle RVI, donating nearly £9,000 worth of toys to the hospital, as well as TVs, infinity games tables, a dolls house, and a ten-in-one games table.