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Yesterday Seren, 17, was thrilled to learn she was cancer-free. For more than a year she had endured a gruelling treatment regime that included surgery, radiation, and 18 blocks of chemotherapy. It was a difficult time for Seren and her family, but the fantastic news of her success has changed everything and today she celebrated by ringing the bell in the Oncology Treatment Centre.
“It felt like something had gone right for the first time,” Seren said, on being given the all-clear. “The pain and going through treatment had served a purpose and worked.”
It all began over a year ago, in May 2020, when a sore ankle after a soccer game, at first believed to be an infected sporting injury, led to a diagnosis of osteosarcoma by doctors at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead.
Now her treatment for the aggressive bone cancer is complete, and she has progressed to follow-up visits, Seren is planning to finish high school and has her sights set on university.
“I’m looking forward to school,” said Seren. “That’s your life at my age and it’s what is taken away from you when you’re treated for cancer, but I also had close friends that were there through the tough times.”
There were tears of relief and joy, and plenty of smiles and cheering, when Seren rang the brass bell loud and clear in the clinic. A large group of family, friends and staff were there to celebrate with the jubilant teen and the way everyone came together during treatment was was something her mother, Zeynep, felt was special.
“Seren’s sister, father, cousins and all our family shared her journey,” she said. “We had enormous family support and it made us come together. We were already close, but it was an awakening and we went through it together.”
Congratulations to Seren on ringing the bell!
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Back on Track’s experienced Education Coordinators helped Seren stay connected with learning by collaborating with her medical team, school teachers and peers. Find out more.