Northamptonshire mum praying as 'little fighter' Lacie, two, prepares for major op

Little Lacie Marshall was diagnosed with a Wilm's tumour - a nephroblastoma

By Alison Bagley
Friday, 11th December 2020, 7:00 am
Kelly and Lacie
Kelly and Lacie

The family of a little girl from Northamptonshire who is battling a rare childhood cancer hope to be reunited for Christmas as the date of her day-long operation draws closer.

Two-year-old Lacie Marshall lives in Wilbarston with mum Kelly, dad Lee Pollard and her siblings Riley, 15, Laila, nine, and five-year-old Elisia.

On October 27, Lacie was rushed into Kettering General Hospital after an emergency face-to-face consultation with her GP picked up a problem in her abdomen.

Little Lacie and her brother Riley, and sisters Elisia and Laila

From KGH she was taken as a blue light emergency to Queen's Medical Centre in Nottingham where she stayed for 17 days, diagnosed with a Wilm’s Tumour - a rare cancer of the kidney .

Kelly said: "She’s been through so much in six weeks but has proven that’s she’s a little fighter. She has stayed so happy throughout and has shown so much resilience it puts us adults to shame.

"Lacie had a lump in her side. We had noticed it about five weeks before but she had no other symptoms and she was throwing herself around and being her normal self.

"We went to the doctors. She was then sent straight over to Kettering (General Hospital) to be seen by a paediatrician who took her bloods.

Lacie loves biscuits and cakes

"They knew something wasn’t right due to her levels not being as they should and she was blue-lighted to Queens Medical Centre in Nottingham via ambulance that same evening at 12.30am."

Lacie has undergone CT and MRI scans as well as a biopsy and numerous tests which discovered the large tumour had affected one of her kidneys and grown across her spine.

Kelly added: "We are all completely and utterly devastated but fortunately it is treatable and she stands a seven out of ten chance of beating this. We are praying that she is one of the seven."

To reduce the size of the growth, Lacie has been having weekly chemotherapy ready for the operation on December 17 when she will have the kidney and tumour removed.

Dad Lee has been by Lacie's bedside throughout, helped by his dad Steve Pollard from Desborough, taking it in turns to be on the ward as only one adult can be with her.

Kelly and the rest of the family have been keeping touch via video calls.

Lacie had been able to come home for her second birthday on November 15 but it was touch and go if she was going to be allowed to stay. Her NGR feeding tube had become dislodged and it was thought she might have to return to hospital but Lacie got to open her presents including a toy quad bike.

It is hoped that she might be able to come home for Christmas after her operation.

Lee has been on furlough from his job as a fork lift truck operator. The 41-year-old former Leicestershire and Bedfordshire county cricketer has been taxied to the hospital by his dad Steve since the family car suffered engine failure en route to Nottingham two weeks ago.

Steve, who is planning a 100-mile marathon walk - trekking 20-miles a day for five days - is fundraising for the children’s oncology unit ward where Lacie has been cared for.

He has already raised more than £3,000 of his £10,000 target. Click here to support his fundraising.He said: "Lacie is a bundle of joy. We are very fortunate with our grandchildren. When she's here she makes a dive for the biscuit tin. This has made us all very close and she's really gone through the mill.

"Even when she's back from chemo if she sees me she gives me a cuddle."

After the operation, Lacie will have a further six to eight months of chemotherapy and possibly radiotherapy.

Kelly added: "She has been incredibly brave throughout all of this and still her happy cheeky self. It certainly hasn’t been plain sailing, with her NGR tube needing refitting weekly because we can’t keep her still and stop her from dive bombing the pillows and pulling it out.

"To the car breaking down and going to the salvage dealer, the unexpected extra procedures in hospital and her big operation looming, we are praying for something to go right, her scan results on Tuesday should bring us some hope for next year."