Party girl Alex puts cancer behind her

SELINA POWELL
Last updated 05:00 10/01/2013
Silver Ferns netball player Katrina Grant with cancer patient Alex Anstis, 5
KENT BLECHYNDEN/Fairfax NZ
FRESH START: Silver Ferns netball player Katrina Grant with cancer patient Alex Anstis, 5.

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It may have been Silver Fern netballer Katrina Grant's first task as a Child Cancer ambassador, but the day was all about Alex Anstis.

Yesterday, the youngster celebrated her last chemotherapy session at a party attended by Grant, a member of the Central Pulse team. Wearing a beaded necklace and bracelet that she made herself, Alex can now get back to the business of being a 5-year-old.

Grant was making her first appearance as the new Child Cancer Foundation Ambassador for Wellington.

"I thought it would be a great thing to be part of, something where I can give back."

Alex's acute lymphoblastic leukaemia was diagnosed in 2010.

After more than two years of chemotherapy treatments, she is now in remission and free to exchange hospital waiting rooms for quality time with her pony Molly.

Alex's mother, Louise Hight, said the family's lives had revolved around chemotherapy treatments.

"I'm just looking forward to her turning into a normal little girl."

Although Alex was in remission, it would be five years before she could be said to be cured of leukaemia.

Chemotherapy had left her with leg cramps, nausea and fatigue, and she could not play with other children if they were unwell.

A thousand beads hang on strings in Alex's room - one bead for each of her treatments.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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