A LITTLE girl who was told she had growing pains is now battling stage four cancer.
Charlotte Watson, 5, started to feel tired and didn't want to eat over a year ago.
The youngster from Brighton also had toe pain that didn't seem to be going away.
Her worried mum, Angela West, took her to a doctor a few months later but says the medic told her it was just growing pains.
The little girl, a keen ballet dancer, then started to have back pain and was rushed to A&E.
Scans and tests tragically revealed she had stage four high risk neuroblastoma
Charlotte started treatment straight away – chemotherapy, radiotherapy, a stem cell transplant, and immunotherapy.
Angela, who works as a hairdresser, said: "In July 2020, she was falling asleep at around 4pm and her pre-school teachers started noticing she wasn't eating her lunch which was strange because she's always been a good eater.
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"By September, she was complaining about pain in her little toe and I had to carry her from one end of the pier to the other and thought she was just being lazy.
"She does ballet dancing a couple of times a week so we initially put it down to that.
"Towards the end of November, I picked her up from preschool and she said her back really hurt so I thought she might have a UTI.
"She woke up screaming in pain so we took her to A&E but they said she needed her bloods taken and when we took her back to A&E for this, we essentially never came home."
Charlotte has been undergoing treatment since the beginning of the year and has had her ovaries frozen in the hopes of giving her the chance to have children in the future.
Angela, who is also mum to eight-year-old Polly, said: "When we initially found out it was a tumour, I could feel the ground falling from beneath me.
"The treatment started right away which is a gruelling protocol that adults couldn't even deal with.
"High risk neuroblastoma has a 50 per cent chance of returning so we're fundraising for Charlotte to be part of a vaccine trial that isn't yet on offer in the UK.
"It reduces the chance to 20 per cent so I'm frantically fundraising for this as it costs a whopping £350,000.
"We are in and out of the hospital for appointments, constant blood tests and transfusions.
"It was her 5th birthday when she came home from the hospital.
"We are about to start immunotherapy and again, there's going to be awful side effects and I'm dreading it.
"She's gone from a normal pre-schooler to a five-year-old with a medical vocabulary."
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