The video of a brave girl battling cancer belting out a song at a wedding has gone viral.
Anya Ottley showed no sign of the horrible disease when she confidently took to the floor, singing and acting out Rachel Platten’s 2014 number one hit ‘Fight Song’.
The six-year-old is currently nearing the end of 28 gruelling rounds of intensive chemotherapy at Manchester Children’s Hospital following a kidney cancer diagnosis in November 2017.
Anya, from Bolton, in the UK, is due finish her treatment for Wilms’ tumour next month and will have a ‘ring-the-bell’ party to mark the occasion.
It’s there she plans to sing the hit, which includes the lyrics ‘this is my fight song, take back my life song, prove I’m alright song’, and decided to practise at a friend’s wedding reception.
“Her performance at the wedding brought a tear to my eye and to several others in the room. It was fantastic to watch her and it made me so proud,” mum Kathryn said.
“She adores singing and she just wants to entertain all the time. She’s a huge Little Mix fan and dreams of meeting them one day.”
Kathryn, 43, first noticed something was wrong when usually energetic Anya became extremely tired after a party last November and her dad Andy, 50, noticed a lump on her tummy as she lay on the sofa.
Blood tests and an MRI at Royal Bolton Hospital confirmed she had a giant cancerous tumour in her stomach measuring 14.5cm by 9cm by 7cm – around the size of a small melon.
“I’m so glad we caught it when we did otherwise we might be telling a very different story right now, I dare not think about it really,” Kathryn said.
She was referred to Manchester Children’s Hospital, which confirmed a diagnosis of Wilms’ tumour, a type of kidney cancer, on November 17 and started chemotherapy that day.
“I tried to stay really calm for her when she was admitted to Manchester because I didn’t want her to see me get upset,” the mum recalled.
“She knew something was wrong and she did ask me if she was going to die, which was heart breaking, but I told her she wouldn’t and she’s been so incredibly brave and strong.”
The tot also underwent surgery on the tumour and had her left kidney removed.
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The treatment was initially successful, shrinking the tumour to half its size, but since January 27 Anya has been having chemotherapy every Monday to try and kill off the tumour completely.
“She even takes the chemotherapy in her stride. It makes her sick but she tells me it’s not too bad for her and that other children on the ward are much sicker.
“She is really caring like that.”
Her mum said that when treatment started she promised Anya a ‘ring-the-bell’ party when she got better and told her she could sing at it.
“She wanted to sing at the wedding and I told her it would be a good time to practise it for her party,” Kathryn said.
“Her uncle Aidan posted it online afterwards and the reaction it has had is incredible. I’ve had people messaging me from the USA and Australia.
“Anya makes YouTube videos and gets excited when she tells me she’s had 19 views, so to tell her one of her videos has more than one million views, she didn’t really know what to say.”
For now Anya continues to do her schoolwork at home as her low immune system makes it difficult for her to be in the classroom.
She also refuses to wear a wig given to her by the Little Princess Trust, despite having had her own hair cut and donated to make a wig, as she prefers not to hide her cancer.
Her family are raising money for the Little Princess Trust and Manchester Children’s Hospital and have so far raised nearly $35,000.
With additional reporting by Caters News.
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