CHARLOTTE Broady blew out eight candles on Saturday, a milestone worth celebrating.
The Rosewood girl returned home to celebrate her eighth birthday after spending the past 100 days in the Royal Children's Hospital undergoing treatment for high-risk leukemia.
It was the first time the eight-year-old had seen her school friends since she was diagnosed in August last year.
Her father Rob said the past nine months had been a roller-coaster for the family and a pink and purple fairy party was all the youngster had been looking forward to.
"It's not only her eighth birthday, but she has missed out on so much from being in hospital for so long," he said. "She's been through a lot of trauma."
The nightmare began when the Charlotte fell at Queens Park in January last year, crushing her spine.
Four months later she was still struggling to get around. Doctors administered steroid treatment and she developed diabetes. On August 3, the family of five was given the devastating news the youngest member had contracted leukemia from the fall.
Charlotte underwent a bone marrow transplant in December, but she still has a long road ahead as she battles the side-effects.
Parents Rob and Lorraine have had to move to Brisbane temporarily to be by the little girl's side. "Her bone marrow is healthy at the moment, which is good news, but getting her home as a family is the most important thing for us at the moment. We're not quite there yet," Mrs Broady said.
"It's been a hard road for her.
"Her hair has grown back different and she looks in the mirror and she's not happy with what she sees. She still has a little way to go."
Mrs Broady said she hoped Charlotte would be back at school in June. She thanked the Rosewood community and the Childhood Cancer Support group for their support.
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