Alyssa's lights will lead way to cure

Light for leukaemia: St Helens Park toddler and leukaemia survivor Alyssa Miller with the lantern she will light at the Leukaemia Foundation's Light the Night event. Picture: Simon Bennett
Light for leukaemia: St Helens Park toddler and leukaemia survivor Alyssa Miller with the lantern she will light at the Leukaemia Foundation's Light the Night event. Picture: Simon Bennett

TWO years ago, doctors were worried Alyssa Miller wouldn't make it to her first birthday.

She's now two and looking forward to her third birthday party in October.

The St Helens Park toddler was diagnosed with leukaemia two years ago today and faced years of treatment and chemotherapy.

But Amanda Miller said after a transplant in April, her daughter was now in remission and had returned to childcare twice a week.

"It's pretty much back to normal, she's quite active and living life," Mrs Miller said.

"She loves Dora [the Explorer] and anything that her sister Maddie's into really; she loves drawing and colouring in.

"Every day that we get further past the transplant is good.

"She's still on the higher risk side of it coming back — two years after transplant it starts to trend downwards — but they're very happy with her progress."

Mrs Miller said the Leukaemia Foundation had been a big help to their family and they planned to walk in the foundation's Light the Night event next month to help raise money to find a cure.

"You never felt like you were alone; there were so many people people out there working hard to try to find a cure," she said.

"Hopefully they can find a way of treating it so kids don't have to go through what Alyssa went through."

Mrs Miller said the day when Alyssa, then 10 months old, was first diagnosed was still very clear in her mind.

"It was early Sunday morning at Campbelltown Hospital and they just sort of said, 'Pack your bags for a long time, go over to Randwick and you'll be there until further notice'," she said.

"It was a horrible day."

The Millers will walk with lanterns in the Light the Night event at St Mary's Cathedral in Sydney on Wednesday, September 19 at 5.30pm. Donations: http://my.leukaemia

foundation.org.au/alyssa.