Jindera schoolgirl Matilda Hacking is in “bouncy” spirits after a 10-hour operation in Melbourne to check whether bone cancer has spread to her young lungs.
The 10-year-old gymnast underwent gruelling surgery where both lungs were shut down and she was cut open from both sides of her ribcage to her spine as doctors feared a secondary cancer from her osteosarcoma had taken hold.
Matilda has already endured 20 chemotherapy treatments as well as a 13-hour operation on her legs at the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne.
Thankfully the double lung surgery found no sign of cancer cells in the lungs.
Matilda’s cancer is the result of a rare genetic condition called Rothmund-Thomson syndrome.
In July this year, Jindera Takeaway owner Fiona Brown helped rally the close-knit town to raise money to assist the family with the cost of frequent trips up and down the freeway to Melbourne.
Ms Brown also recently completed a second fundraiser to support Kellie who had to close her hairdressing business at Christmas to focus on Matilda’s care.
With Matilda “getting stronger every day”, the salon doors will re-open in the town this week.
Kellie is enjoying seeing shades of “the old Matilda coming through” after her ordeal.
“She’s going to school a little bit but she still gets tired,” she said.
“They took all the scaffolding off her leg (during the operation) and she was in plaster for a month.
“She still can’t walk on it yet as we need to wait for bone growth to happen after all the chemo.”
Kellie said keeping her daughter’s spirits up was easy as “she’s such a bouncy kid”.
“The support of everyone in Jindera is just so appreciated – and it’s worth so much more than money.
“People just look at Matilda and love her.”