Mosgiel girl new child cancer 'star'

Myah Tasker (6) shows off some of the 1100 beads she has collected. Each one represents a treatment, procedure or medicine she has had to take as part of her treatment for cancer. Photo by Dan Hutchinson
Myah Tasker (6) shows off some of the 1100 beads she has collected. Each one represents a treatment, procedure or medicine she has had to take as part of her treatment for cancer. Photo by Dan Hutchinson

Mosgiel girl Myah Tasker is just 6-years-old, she has survived two battles with cancer and is now donating her time to help other sick children.

Doctors first noticed a lump on Myah's kidney before she was born, when her mother Denise Tasker was 36 weeks pregnant.

Her birth date was bought forward and at just five weeks old Myah had surgery to remove a kidney. By nine weeks she was starting chemotherapy.

Thankfully, by the time she was one, there was no sign of the Wilms tumour - the most common type of tumour in children and one with a very good chance of being completely cured.

''We thought we were in the clear but we considered ourselves lucky. We thought we were one of the lucky families,'' Mrs Tasker said.

The family moved from Christchurch to Dunedin after the February 2011 earthquake but later that year they found the cancer had returned.

Myah had to return to Christchurch for more surgery and months of debilitating chemotherapy.

''She is so strong and so inspirational really.

''She will go into things and say 'no hurts mum, just tickles'. I know if you or I were to have it done it would absolutely sting . . . she is just incredible.''

She finished her treatment in September last year and the doctors are hopeful it will not return. The relapse was a result of cells left behind when her kidney was removed as a baby.

Myah is almost fully recovered from her treatment and has been chosen as one of three Child Cancer Foundation ''stars'' in New Zealand.

Her image will appear in promotional material and posters for the annual ''Beads of Courage'' fundraising day on March 22.

Mrs Tasker said the foundation had provided good support for herself and family, including husband Steve Tasker and their other two children Liam (4) and Ewan (2).

''They have been amazing. If you ever needed support, just to talk to someone, they are always available and always there.''

Practical help like petrol and food vouchers was also really important.

''Not only is it a shock for a family when they find out their child has cancer, but a lot of the time you are down to one income so it is really hard.''

She was aware of people who had gone to the hospital in Dunedin for tests, and immediately been sent to Christchurch for treatment, sometimes not getting home for months.

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