Melton schoolgirl Kayti Spargo has had the best possible boost ahead of her GCSEs next week - she’s just been told she has been cured of cancer.
The 16-year-old jetted to Florida in December for 10 weeks of revolutionary proton beam therapy after a tumour was diagnosed behind her nose.
And a specialist has now given her the all-clear following an MRI scan at Leicester Royal Infirmary after the family were subjected to an anxious wait for the results of the treatment.
The tears flowed for dad Nick and mum Lynda when a consultant told them the good news but Kayti said: “It was a relief but I was more worried about my GCSEs than all the hospital stuff, to be honest. When the consultant said you are all-clear the first thing I thought of was that I could now fully focus on revising.”
She added: “I want to thank everyone who has supported me over the last few months. Having cancer has changed me as a person. I’ve definitely grown up more and it has made me want to definitely do all the things I have always wanted to do.”
As she recovers from the effects of her treatment, Kayti’s hair is slowly growing back and she has put 10lb on in weight over the last three weeks.
She is grateful to have been one of the few NHS patients who are sent abroad for proton therapy treatment, which focuses more accurately on cancerous areas without damaging surrounding tissue and which is not yet available in this country.
“For people like me it was a life-saver,” said Kayti, who attends Kesteven and Grantham Girls’ School. “But it isn’t the best treatment for everyone so people shouldn’t get upset if they are unable to have it.”
Mr Spargo (44), a Leicestershire firefighter, recalled the moment the family were told the good news about his daughter: “We had to wait a week for the MRI results and it was very, very tense for all of us. The consultant sat us all down and it was great to be told Kayti had been given the all clear. There were a few tears but Kayti has been very blasé about it all - the tumour has been gone since she left America in her eyes.”
Kayti’s mum Lynda, a teacher at Sherard Primary School in Melton, her 15-year-old sister Charlotte and brother Daniel (14), were overjoyed to hear the treatment had worked.
Nick said: “My wife was 46 on Saturday - she got the only present she wanted, for Kayti to get the all-clear. Being a teenage boy, Dan hasn’t shown a lot of emotion but he hasn’t left his sister’s side since she got the good news. It has been a huge weight hanging over me but that’s all gone now.”
Kayti is studying for 10 GCSEs and has her first exam on Monday. She has managed to revise despite feeling short of energy and aims to ultimately take English at Cambridge University.
She is also hoping to be accepted onto a six-month medical trial which is aimed at improving the treatment of others who suffer from her rare form of cancer, known as rhabdomyosarcoma, which affects only 60 UK children every year.
And the family plan to take her on a dream holiday, probably to Sweden, thanks to a fundraising initiative, which has so far generated £5,399 for her.
Mr Spargo, together with family members and friends, have taken part in several activities, including the Farmageddon challenge at Brooksby Melton College, the London Marathon, drama and talent nights and a sponsored dog walk.
Go to www.kaytispargo.com to donate money.