Cancer survivor turns seven

21:34, Jul 16 2014

It was a joyous day when Emma Watson blew out seven candles on her birthday cake.

Emma was the face of the 2011 Child Cancer Foundation and had collected 2706 beads over her years of treatment.

When she turned 5, she featured on the front page of the Taranaki Daily News holding up five fingers.

Yesterday, it was seven.

Emma told the Daily News she felt really good about it.

She enjoyed opening all her presents and had a good time talking to dad Michael on video chat before putting on her Snow White costume to wear for the day.

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Doting sisters Rebecca Keogh and Mikayla Archer put their baking skills to the test to make Emma a doll-shaped cake with a pink frock.

"She had a very full-on morning," mum Joanne said. Two years ago, her family was not sure if Emma would make it to her fifth birthday and her turning 7 was "just wonderful", Joanne said.

"There's a bit of maturity about her now. She had been very much a little girl until now."

But it was also a bittersweet birthday celebration and Emma was in Auckland to farewell a "very, very special friend" who had died from cancer. The family drove up to Auckland on Monday to attend his funeral held yesterday.

Emma was a "wonderful travelling companion" and kept her mum company with her "constant chatter".

The family had formed a close bond with the boy's family during Emma's journey with cancer.

"We were at the funeral singing songs and blowing bubbles," Joanne said.

"And now we're going home to sing Happy Birthday and blow out candles."

Joanne said that four years ago, the family did not know much about childhood cancer but since then they had said goodbye to at least 15 children they had met through cancer treatment.

Taranaki Daily News