Zara is on road to recovery

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Christmas joy has come early for the Lundy family this year.

Proud parents Jonathan and Michelle Lundy beamed as they watched their nine-year-old daughter Zara return to school for the first time in a year.

Little Zara Lundy. Picture taken by mum Michelle Lundy. Image sent by family friend Niki Evans from Chelle's Facebook page after permission from Jonny to use photos on there.

Little Zara Lundy. Picture taken by mum Michelle Lundy. Image sent by family friend Niki Evans from Chelle's Facebook page after permission from Jonny to use photos on there.

It was a huge milestone for the youngster, who successfully underwent a stem cell transplant in March in her battle against cancer.

Mr Lundy said: “We are just so proud of her, after all she has been through.

“When we look back at photos from this time last year, we see the darkness that we were looking into.

“It feels like now we are coming out into the light. She has done amazing.

“Christmas will be a completely different experience this time around. We are really looking forward to celebrating as a family.”

The family, who recently moved from Normanton to Middleton, were told Zara had Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia when she was aged just six.

After undergoing gruelling bouts of chemotherapy and fighting off pneumonia, septicaemia and shingles, Zara went in to remission from the disease early last year.

But by December, her family had been told the devastating news that she had relapsed, and would need a transplant.

Zara underwent the operation on March 24, a date the family have fondly labelled her ‘second’ birthday, after a donor match was found in Poland.

She has since faced a long road to recovery, but last month, she was well enough to return to her school, Westwood Primary in Leeds, for the first time.

And she hopes to be back in the classroom full time in the new year.

Mr Lundy said: “My wife and I broke down in tears when we found out there was a match, tears of relief that there was people out there willing to give our girl a second chance.”

“We are very positive and we are firmly focused on the future. We are taking each day as it comes and enjoying family life.”

The family thanked everyone in the community who has supported Zara, and urged others to join the bone marrow register, which provides stem cell donors.