BELFAST, Northern Ireland - A young girl in Northern Ireland cried happy years after learning that her mother had finally been declared cancer-free after months of chemotherapy and radiation treatments.
The touching moment was recorded last week by the 9-year-old girl’s mother, Leeanne O’Donoghue of Belfast, Northern Ireland. Leeanne revealed the good news to her daughter, Eireann, by handing her a balloon that read: "Mummy is cancer-free."
In the video, when Eireann first opens her eyes, she appears simply overjoyed to be gifted a balloon ahead of her birthday.
But finally, Eireann reads the words out loud and the girl’s face lights up in astonishment and joy. She then rushes to hug her mother and bursts into tears of joy.
"Is that, like, the best birthday present ever?" Leeanne asks Eireann, ahead of her 10th birthday on Nov. 15. "Yeah," Eireann replies, tearfully.
Eireann, 9, was brought to tears on Nov. 10, 2022, as she was surprised by the news that her mother was declared cancer-free. (Credit: Leeanne O'Donoghue via Storyful)
Leeanne was diagnosed in April with vaginal cancer, a rare form of cancer, and underwent six weeks of radiation and chemotherapy, according to BelfastLive.
"The radiotherapy was soul-destroying. It was horrific leaving my children for it. That was really tough. The whole summer was soul-destroying for them too," O’Donoghue told the local news outlet.
She first knew something was wrong earlier this year when she began having pain while sitting down, and one day woke up in a pool of blood, BelfastLive reported. She was later diagnosed with cancer on her 42nd birthday in April.
"It is a very rare cancer and it was on my vagina wall and also along the lining of my bladder, which made it more complicated because they could have taken it away through a hysterectomy," Leeanne told the news outlet. "My option was then to go with radiotherapy and chemotherapy."
Leeanne said she hopes to encourage others to go for regular cervical screenings, noting how it could potentially save a life.
The mother, who also has 5-year-old Lochlann, said she had "never left" her kids prior to the cancer treatments.
"I don't know how I did it. I remember one day lying under the radiotherapy machine just saying their names out loud," Leeanne told the news outlet. "They got me through it, every single day I saw their wee faces and I couldn't imagine their life without their mummy."
"There was no option, I had to fight this for my kids, and I had to win," she added.
This story was reported from Cincinnati. Storyful contributed.