A BRAVE Dumbarton girl has celebrated reaching the end of her two-year cancer treatment.

Dara Monaghan was diagnosed with a rare low grade brain stem glioma when she was only six-years-old.

The youngster, who loved nothing more than her gymnastic sessions and seeing her friends, was given the devastating diagnosis in May 2019 after having a recurring cough and suspected sleep apnoea.

After a routine check of her vocal cords and an MRI scan it was discovered a rare low grade brain stem glioma which is every parent’s worst nightmare.

Her mum Sarah said: “It was a big shock.

"It felt like everything in our life just disappeared.

“We were terrified, because at the start they told us she might die, but you are doing your best because you don’t want her to be scared.

“You don’t have a choice – you have to just get on with things.”

Sarah continued: “She was always really happy and tolerated her treatment really well, skipping up and down the wards – all the nurses loved her.

"She just got on with it.

“Throughout it all the staff have been just brilliant, everyone knows Dara by name and they all make you feel so welcome – it just makes a stressful situation so much easier.”

By the time Dara’s treatment ended in February, lockdown meant there was no chance to celebrate in hospital due to Covid restrictions.

Sarah said: “The team posted out the bell and a little T-shirt and we had a tea party and balloons and made a big deal of it and she was really happy with that.”

While it might not mean the end of their cancer treatment, ringing the bell can mean the end of one part of the cancer journey.

In Dara’s case, while there is hope for the future, she will require close monitoring and there is no clear prognosis.

The tumour has shrunk, but she will continue to be scanned every three months.

Sarah added: “We still have a lot of fear for the future – it’s still there.

"I’m hopeful that she will be fine and be okay, but we try not to dwell on it.

“We have what we have just now.

“I think if you dwell on the ‘what ifs’, you can miss out on a lot of life that’s happening now.”