BRAVE little Molly Molyneux was all smiles as she returned to her school to say hello to her friends and teachers.
The seven-year-old has not been well enough to attend classes at Devonshire Road Primary School since being diagnosed with leukaemia in September.
But she was able to go back to school to be presented with an iPad.
Her proud mum Claire Schofield said: “Molly has been so excited about going to school.
“She has been through a tough time and when we pulled up to the school gates she was shy but she has really enjoyed it.”
Molly has T-cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia. The condition, which is said to mimic other illnesses, initially appeared to be mumps.
The brave youngster is under the care of Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital and is undergoing chemotherapy.
Mum-of-seven, Miss Schofield, who lives with her partner Adam Molyneux in Halliwell, said: “The first 48 hours were critical and we were told to prepare for the worst, but she keeps amazing doctors.
“She will undergo chemotherapy for the next two years and it does affect her, and get her down, but she still laughs at me and runs ward 84 when she is there. She’s amazing and a fighter.”
This is the second blow for the family. Molly’s uncle Tom Molyneux, who battled cancer and a range of other serious conditions, lost his fight for life aged just 17 in 2010.
Molly’s bravery has inspired others, with staff at Devonshire Road Primary running the Blackpool half-marathon for Ward 84 and Matthew Baker, father of pupils Caylum, aged six, and Niahm Baker, aged five, raising money via a collection at Hibu Yell.com to buy Molly an iPad.
Miss Schofield, aged 34, said: “Everyone has been fabulous, the doctors, the nurses on the ward are fantastic and the school has been great.
"The teachers came to visit Molly when she was in hospital and she is so excited about the iPad. Everyone has been brilliant.”
Molly, who is featured on the Facebook page Faces of Ward 84 to show how inspirational the young people are, spent the afternoon playing with her friends at school and is hoping to return soon.
The youngster is planning to walk from the town centre to Horwich and make and sell bracelets to raise money for the ward and the Ronald McDonald House at the hospital.
Molly said: “It was really nice seeing my friends and I am excited about the iPad.”
Friends Leah and Amira Bradley, aged seven, said they would take part in the walk.