Three year old Isla Hallam has undergone painful chemotherapy for the past two years after being diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia. The toddler was kept in almost complete isolation due to the highly weakened state of her immune system.
Unable to play with other children, or join in in any group activities, or simply read a library book in case her body caught something her weakened white blood cells couldn't fight off. Isla has undergone 16 blood transfusions, 17 hospital admissions, and 120 finger-prick blood tests and 21 lumbar punctures. But now finally, some good news for the toddler, Isla is now in remission, and whilst she still has five months of chemotherapy left to prevent the leukemia from returning, Isla is celebrating by taking ballet class for the very first time.
Already Isla has proven to be a very keen ballet student, and the class seems to have had a positive effect on her, helping her come out of her shell. Her mother, Anne says "She won't do things for me, but if it's a ballet move it's a whole different story now." Not only is Isla enjoying the class, but ballet has also proven beneficial for her recovery - "Chemo can make their bones sore and muscles weak, and it took her a long time to get back on to her feet and even walk with a support," Ms Hallam said, "Ballet has been great from a physio point of view, because now she can even walk on her tippy toes the whole length of the church hall."