'A little pillar of strength': Jazmine Jones' rare cancer is in remission
SHE has been through months of pain after being diagnosed with a rare form of cancer, but she never stopped smiling.
The parents of Bransholme youngster Jazmine Jones have called their daughter a "pillar of strength" after they were told by doctors the life-threatening disease has gone.
Jazmine, 8, is now in remission after being diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, which affects fewer than 80 children in the UK every year.
Friends, family and strangers came together to raise more than £8,500 for the Cavendish Primary School pupil, whose dream is to go to Florida.
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But for her parents, Aimee and Lee, what they wanted more than anything was to be told their nightmare was coming to an end.
"Her scans and tests all came back clear. We're so happy," Lee, 36, said.
"The doctors were really pleased with her progress but until you hear those words you still think, 'what if?'."
Jazmine was diagnosed in July, after a lump was discovered in her groin.
She then underwent tests and treatment at Leeds General Infirmary every three weeks.
Consultants say they only see about one child every three years with the disease.
Brave Jazmine underwent six cycles of chemotherapy, ending in November, and lost all her hair, but it never stopped her from living life to the full.
"All she was interested in was playing and she doesn't let anything stop her from having fun," Lee said.
"It was a massive relief for us all to be told the cancer had gone. It was an emotional day and Jaz understands that she is now getting better.
"As soon as we got in the car, we started sending texts to people and our phones just wouldn't stop all day.
"It was really nice to share that moment with so many people and we're thankful to everyone who has raised money for us.
"We lost almost £4,000 in earnings because we've been taking time off to take her to hospital and, although both our employers have been fantastic, it would have been a real struggle.
"The list of people I want to thank is just endless and we never expected so many strangers to come forward and help us."
Although Jazmine will have to go for check-ups every two months for the first year, her hair is growing back and her family are getting back to normality.
Lee said: "Her drugs tube is being taken out in a week and she will be able to go swimming again and play with her friends.
"These are things she hasn't been able to do since July. She's also had to watch what she's eaten and not drink tap water. We couldn't risk any infection."
Aimee, 29, said they are things people often "take for granted" and the family's experience of cancer has changed their outlook on life.
Strangers came up to them and donated money and Aimee herself is planning to do a sky-dive to raise cash.
"Seeing what Jaz has been through puts everything into perspective and we are now a stronger family unit," she said.
"It's been an emotional rollercoaster, but it was such a nice feeling to be told the cancer has gone, we were ecstatic.
"We can now look forward to a better year and can't wait to take Jazmine to see Mickey Mouse."