After being faced with so much adversity at a young age – one Kearneys Spring 11-year-old has beaten cancer and come out swinging!
Allegra Chant was diagnosed with a stage three (borderline stage four) Wilms tumour halfway through 2012, at only six years old.
Wilms tumour is a cancer of the kidneys that typically occurs in children.
During Allegra’s left kidney removal surgery there were complications with cancer cells compounding into the diaphragm – lymph nodes were affected and a pot in her right lung appeared, lengthening her treatment period.
Allegra’s mother Tazi Chant explained the burden of a cancer experience didn’t stop after treatment for her daughter.
“When Ally was given the all clear in 2014 and was able to attend school again, she was bullied for having no hair and had to stay back a grade to the length of treatment,” Ms Chant said.
“Ally started self-defence training, so she could avoid harm, and then after trying other disciplines she stumbled across MMA and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
“Out of the darkest times, came her greatest joy in life.”
Ms Chant said that after relocating back to Toowoomba, her family spent a whole year searching for a coach for these sports.
“Ally has now been accepted with open arms by her new coach George Jukes and the Sublimate BJJ family – she trains four nights a week, with no sign of stopping any time soon,” she said.
“Despite being such a quiet and sweet girl, Ally is so comfortable when training – she’s gets right into it and becomes the best version of herself.
“She’s come out swinging, begrudging no one and embracing the best in life, treating everyday as a gift.”
In recognition of her fight and determination, Allegra has been named Face of Relay for Cancer Council Queensland’s Toowoomba Relay For Life, held May 20-21 at Queens Park.
The Face of Relay is a symbol of hope - inspiring others and giving hope to cancer patients, hope for loved ones lost and hope for a cancer free future.
Allegra said she would proudly lead the survivors and carers walk to officially open the event – and was excited to have her training family behind her, showing their support by flying the Sublimate BJJ colours.
“My mother and I did it tough and we thought we were doing it alone, but thanks to people at Cancer Council, Childhood Cancer Service and the many wonderful volunteers we met, we realised that we weren’t and that there is always help and hope,” Allegra said.
Survivors and carers are invited to join Allegra to take part in the opening lap of Relay, followed by a special afternoon tea.
Locals can register at the Relay registration desk at Queens Park on Saturday, May 20 from 1pm.
Cancer Council Queensland CEO Chris McMillian said Toowoomba Relay For Life organisers were delighted to have Allegra on board as the Face of Relay for 2017.
“Relay is more than just a fundraiser, it’s a community event for a great cause, supporting survivors and raising awareness of ways to beat the disease,” McMillan said.
“If you’re passionate about cancer prevention, early detection, research and support, or are looking for a way to give back in the community – join Allegra at Toowoomba Relay For Life.
“Every dollar raised and every step taken at Relay gives vital hope to the 27,000 Queenslanders diagnosed with cancer each year.”
Relay For Life is an 18 hour event involving teams of up to 15 people keeping a baton moving in a relay style walk or run overnight, in support of all Queenslanders, all cancers.
To register a team, volunteer or find out more, visit www.relayforlife.org.au or phone the Fundraising Hotline 1300 65 65 85.
More information about Cancer Council Queensland is available via 13 11 20 or www.cancerqld.org.au.