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Global support for Derry girl Alexandra Johnston's cancer fight astounds mum

By Claire Williamson

Published 20/10/2016

Alexandra Johnston and her mum Karen
Alexandra Johnston and her mum Karen
Alexandra and her dad Andre
Alexandra on her special visit from the bikers
Alexandra with the bikers who turned up at her home to surprise her

The mother of a teenage girl battling cancer for a second time has said she is overwhelmed at the support for her brave daughter - and that it is all worth it just to see her smile.

Alexandra Johnston, from Londonderry, is fighting Ewing's sarcoma for the second time since 2013.

To date, she has had cancer in almost every part of her body.

The courageous 14-year-old has recently undergone 30 rounds of chemotherapy and will have scans in November to see how the cancer has reacted to the treatment.

Alexandra astounded medical staff after she was initially given six months to live.

During her treatment, she became a huge fan of the programme Sons of Anarchy, the FX motorcycle club drama.

As a treat, her family organised a special surprise. A video, which has been viewed by thousands of people, captured the moment 30 bikers arrived outside her house.

Now they are trying to get the video to the attention of Sons of Anarchy star Ryan Hurst.

Wee video of our biker chick on her special day , enjoy 󾌵󾌵󾌵󾌵 please share to show the strength in our wee woman who is fighting this terrible disease for the second time x

Posted by Andre Johnston on Sunday, October 2, 2016

Mum Karen said the family had been inundated with cards and messages from people all over the world.

Furthermore, in a random act of kindness, a woman the family has never met has started a fundraising page to help pay for the holiday of a lifetime.

Alexandra was set to go on a big family trip to Florida in August, but they had to cancel it due to her treatment.

"We are absolutely overwhelmed," said Karen. "You think, 'Is this for real?' If Alexandra gets the all-clear now after her scans, the first thing we will do is get her to America."

Karen also paid tribute to her daughter's courage, saying she was "always smiling". "She is just the life and soul of the party 24/7," she added. "You wouldn't know to look at her, only for her wee bald head... that is the only way you would know there is anything wrong with Alexandra.

"She's amazing. Because Ewing's has such a bad reputation and with little chance of survival, we never stopped her doing anything she ever wanted. We just said, 'Go live life', and that's exactly what she does.

"She never stops smiling. They used to call her the beacon in the hospital because they said that her smile lit up the ward."

Karen said the teenager has constantly defied the odds.

"She was stage four Ewing's sarcoma and they told her she had six months to live, and she came through that," she explained. "She did a high dose of chemo, which was seven days full straight chemotherapy through from morning to night, which could have taken her life.

"She was supposed to be in isolation for six weeks - and 24 days after the start of her chemo she was sitting in the ward. She just keeps continually beating all the odds."

Karen said the visit from the bikers was an experience that Alexandra would never forget and one that lifted the whole family.

"Every one of them hugged that wee child," she added. "The tears were tripping off them as well as her. It lifted every single one of our spirits and it was amazing. Anything is worth it to see that wee smile."

 

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