THE family of a seven-year-old girl who was diagnosed with an "impossible" tumour say the response to sharing her story to praise the hospital that saved her life has been "beyond anything we ever imagined".

Leah Bennett, from Bold, was just six years old in November 2018 when she started intermittently complaining of a sore back. Leah's pain continued throughout December 2018 and into January 2019 with her appetite and energy levels also affected.

Leah ringing the end of treatment bell

One evening after coming across an article about BBC presenter Dianne Oxberry, who died from ovarian cancer in 2018, Leah's dad Stephen Bennett read a footnote of symptoms for cancer – and saw that tiny Leah had some of those symptoms.

After going to the GP, St Bartholemew's pupil Leah was referred to Whiston Hospital and then to Alder Hey Children's Hospital where she underwent numerous scans and tests, and was diagnosed with an unknown tumour.

The tumour run from her spine into her abdomen and around her arteries in her legs as well as the bottom of her aorta and the family were told that other children's hospital's in the UK advised Alder Hey surgeons that "nothing more could be done".

The hospital took the risk and operated on Leah, and earlier this month she got to ring the end of treatment bell at Alder Hey.

St Helens Star:

Leah and dad Stephen

Her parent's shared her story to thank the hospital and from our article, Leah's story went viral across the UK and she even appeared on BBC's Breakfast Show with her dad.

The family also hosted a party at the Totally Wicked Stadium to celebrate her end of treatment, attended by hundreds of family and friends as well as the medical staff who all worked together to save her life.

Dad-of-two Stephen, 39, said: "It was scary sharing our story with yourselves and then elsewhere because you never know how others will take things, but the response we and the hospital have had is just incredible and is beyond anything we ever imagined.

"After your article went online, we had so many people from across the UK get in touch with us via social media saying Leah's story gave them fresh hope and one woman from Northern Ireland even had her child going to Alder Hey with a similar condition to Leah.

St Helens Star:

Leah now

"The hospital have been amazed too, the response to all of their incredible staff has been amazing as it should be.

"Even the day she rang the bell, every member of staff on the ward that day, from the chef to each nurse on duty who was involved in her care, came out and gave her the biggest cheer.

"Yes the surgeons did the operation on Leah but all that have been involved in her care as amazing.

"It was crazy from talking to our local paper, we ended up going on The Breakfast Show who made us honestly feel so comfortable and it was a proud moment seeing Leah so happy to share her story.

"She had seen others while being treated ring that bell, she had asked 'When is it my turn?'

St Helens Star:

Leah and her big sister Phoebe at her celebration party

"We didn't know if she would get her turn, but she did and it's amazing to experience that and have a positive memory from all that happened.

St Helens Star:

Leah's celebration cake

"Thanks to sharing her story, we've raised around £6,000 (£5,470 online) for the hospital, which is why we decided to share her story in the first place, so it's just amazing.

"Thank you to all that have donated, Alder Hey are amazing and it's great to share that with so many others."

To donate to the fundraising page go to