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'She will continue to fight' - brave Ipswich girl, 6, in devastating cancer relapse

PUBLISHED: 18:09 16 June 2019 | UPDATED: 13:17 17 June 2019

Arabella Scannell is back in hospital after a cancer relapse. Picture: ELLIE SCANNELL

Arabella Scannell is back in hospital after a cancer relapse. Picture: ELLIE SCANNELL

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Arabella Scannell, from Ipswich, is once again fighting for her life after the cancer she fought so hard to beat returned.

Arabella Scannell celebrating her sixth birthday in Addenbrooke'’s Hospital in Cambridge. Picture: ELLIE SCANNELLArabella Scannell celebrating her sixth birthday in Addenbrooke'’s Hospital in Cambridge. Picture: ELLIE SCANNELL

It has got to be one of the cruellest blows imaginable.

Yet despite being "totally and utterly soul destroyed" by their brave six-year-old's devastating relapse from the cancer she fought so hard to beat, little Arabella Scannell's family are certain of one thing: "She will continue to fight."

The Ipswich youngster became a source of inspiration to many across her home town for the courageous way she battled Acute Myeloid Leukaemia (AML) for more than a year, undergoing two gruelling rounds of chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant.

MORE: 'She's a little fighter!' How brave little Arabella fought back against deadly leukaemia

Arabella Scannell celebrating her sixth birthday in Addenbrooke'’s Hospital in Cambridge. Picture: ELLIE SCANNELLArabella Scannell celebrating her sixth birthday in Addenbrooke'’s Hospital in Cambridge. Picture: ELLIE SCANNELL

As her family struggled to cope, it was Arabella who rallied them to stay positive throughout - telling them: "I don't want you to cry. I don't want us to be down."

Her courage and positive spirit were crucial in seemingly defeating the illness, with Arabella returning to school against all the odds in January this year.

Her family said she was going from "strength to strength" and she was even pictured bounding through the grounds of St Joseph's College for its annual colour run in May - a symbol of just how far she had come.

MORE: Arabella Scannell takes part in St Joseph's College 2019 colour run

Arabella Scannell celebrating her sixth birthday in Addenbrooke'’s Hospital in Cambridge. Picture: ELLIE SCANNELLArabella Scannell celebrating her sixth birthday in Addenbrooke'’s Hospital in Cambridge. Picture: ELLIE SCANNELL

Yet just days after that event, having been in remission, her family posted on Facebook: "With the greatest sadness our adorable, energetic, fun-loving Arabella has relapsed.

"Arabella has been going from strength to strength but unfortunately the leukaemia has returned aggressively.

"Understandably our family is totally and utterly soul destroyed."

Having thought she had left hospital behind, Arabella was soon back at Addenbrooke's in Cambridge undergoing her third round of intensive chemotherapy.

Arabella Scannell celebrating her sixth birthday in Addenbrooke'’s Hospital in Cambridge. Picture: ELLIE SCANNELLArabella Scannell celebrating her sixth birthday in Addenbrooke'’s Hospital in Cambridge. Picture: ELLIE SCANNELL

Once again, she has had to endure a series of setbacks - not least a serious injury to her neck whilst a Hickman Line to administer her treatment was put into her body. She has spent several weeks in a neckbrace as a result.

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Her family had planned a big party at their Suffolk home to mark Arabella's sixth birthday on Friday, June 14 - but were instead forced to cancel the plans and hold a celebration at Addenbrooke's instead.

Yet despite everything, Arabella continues to show the determination to get better and positive spirit that has already inspired so many.

Arabella Scannell taking part in the St Joseph's College colour run. Picture: MIKE BOWDENArabella Scannell taking part in the St Joseph's College colour run. Picture: MIKE BOWDEN

And it is because of her incredible motivation that her mother, dad Mark, 41, and brothers Bailey, 15, and Taylor, 10, and her adoptive sister Zoe, eight, have determined: "While she's strong, we'll be behind her 100%."

Their goal now is to get Arabella onto a clinical trial at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) which they hope might save her.

MORE: 'Children are amazing' - Ipswich nine-year-old's 'extraordinary' gesture to friend in cancer relapse

Arabella's mother Ellie Scannell said: "No-one can believe she has relapsed.

"If you see her bounding round the hospital ward, most people are pretty amazed at how resilient she is. She's all about 'when can I get back to school and when can I see my friends?'"

"She's a true little inspiration.

"To her, we've just said that the germs have come back and we're going to carry on getting rid of them.

"We've all had to stay really positive because she's so positive.

"We were absolutely distraught at what happened but we had to put all those feelings in a box.

"While she's strong, we'll be behind her 100%. That's why we're going for the clinical trial.

"This is the beast of cancer and how it works. We intend to enjoy every minute we've got with her. Every day is a positive day and a step closer to getting home."

And on Facebook, Arabella's family wrote: "Arabella is a super strong child and will continue to fight on.

"Leukaemia, you have chosen the wrong child to mess with.

"We are truly blessed to have such a brave, courageous, fun loving daughter."

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