Brookland child starts kindergarten after beating cancer

Make-a-Wish child is now cancer-free
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)

BROOKLAND, AR (KAIT) - A Region 8 Make-A-Wish child thought she would not get to start kindergarten after she faced another cancer scare.

Doctors at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital diagnosed Hayden Winford with Wilms' tumor in December 2014.

Her mother Amber Winford said she had her last cancer treatment in June 2015.

Since then, her 3-month follow-up scans have been clear until last month.

Hayden attended kindergarten at Brookland Elementary on the first day until her scans came back showing another spot found on her left lung.

"God would get us through like he did before and we would beat this," Amber said.

Amber said her daughter underwent surgery at St. Jude's so that the spot could be removed and biopsied.

The surgery went well. Hayden's surgeon cleared her to return to school, but with pending biopsy results.

"In my mind, I knew she was most likely going to be returning to St. Jude for treatment and wouldn't be able to continue kindergarten," Amber said.

She dropped Hayden off at school for her second day of class. Hayden was excited to meet new friends and learn new things, but her parents still feared the worst.

"I was walking out to my car and I opened the door to my vehicle, I heard the phone ringing," Amber said. "It was Hayden's surgeon. He said 'Amber I just got the biopsy results back. It was not cancer.' I got out of my car, got on my hands and knees and said 'Thank you, God.'"

Now, Hayden is happy to continue kindergarten cancer free.

"I'm already learning about my ABC's," Hayden said.

The 5-year-old eventually wants to follow in her teacher's footsteps, saying she wants to be a teacher when she grows up.

Hayden's family will forever be proud of the fighter she is.  

"She has a mission in life and she'll fulfill it," Amber said. "She's a beautiful girl and brightens up a room whenever she walks in."

Amber said she and her husband Lance Winford are very thankful for everyone's prayers.

They also want to thank St. Jude for the outstanding care they have given to Hayden.

Copyright 2016 KAIT. All rights reserved.

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