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Dover teen gets cleared of cancer after Mercury-backed campaign helps send her to USA for treatment

By Victoria Chessum

A Dover teenager has been cleared of cancer a year after a campaign backed by KentOnline's sister paper the Dover Mercury raised enough cash to send her to the United States for life-saving treatment.

Bryoni Millar, 19, of Buckland Avenue, spent more than 10 weeks in Jacksonville, Florida, undergoing proton therapy, which dispersed the last of a tumour that had been growing for six years.

The former St Edmund’s student was found unconscious in bed by her grandma in July 2013 when visiting her home in County Kerry, west of Ireland.

Bryoni Millar and her mother Tara Bingham at Cricketers Benefit Music Afternoon which helped raise cash for her treatment.
Bryoni Millar and her mother Tara Bingham at Cricketers Benefit Music Afternoon which helped raise cash for her treatment.

Surgeons had to operate fast to remove a large tumour surrounding her brain stem.

A tiny piece was left because its close proximity to her spinal chord meant the risks of an operation were deemed too high.

Bryoni’s mother, Tara Bingham, made a plea for help through the Dover Mercury last August.

Bryoni before her diagnosis
Bryoni before her diagnosis

Donations flooded in, exceeding £2,000, to help with living expenses for Bryoni and her grandma.

Mrs Bingham said: “We had no idea how we were going to do it.

'We were ready to sell our car and half the house to raise it.' - Mother, Tara Bingham

“You do anything for your children, but I still can’t believe the community support we had.”

Miss Millar returned from her treatment in October, but has only just been given the all clear after a mix-up with her scans.

“We had a long wait for the results as her scans from America were not passed to the right department,” her mother said.

“Bryoni waited six months followed by an MRI scan, when others who were treated at the same time had their results within weeks.

“Needless to say, it has been a long old waiting game but it’s finally over.”

Bryoni rang a bell which marked the end of her treatment in Jacksonville last year
Bryoni rang a bell which marked the end of her treatment in Jacksonville last year

Miss Millar, who now lives in County Kerry permanently, said: “I am completely relieved.

“I had to wait so long and was starting to get paranoid but it’s a heavy weight lifted off my shoulders.

“Right now I’m just relaxing, there’s no more stress needed so I’m just enjoying myself.”

She still has a residual tumour that has to be monitored by scans every six months, despite it being very small.

Mrs Bingham said: “It could grow back at any time, but for now she’s out of the woods and doing great.”

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