Violetta was hit with a bombshell on her birthday in April of 2016. She was diagnosed with cancer. It has been a tough year for her and family but she recently finished her last chemotherapy course and is now looking forward to getting back to her studies.
Mum Artemis describes her daughter Violetta as a survivor, and with good reason. As a toddler she cheated death after surviving a blood clot in her leg, and then as a teenager she was diagnosed with cancer.
Mother-of-three Artemis said: “I feel as though I have nearly lost my daughter twice. When Violetta was 18 months old she was rushed into hospital and into intensive care with a blood clot. Her heart stopped, she was in a coma for a month and the doctors gave her a 1% chance of survival. They told me to prepare for the worst and I really thought we had lost her. At best they thought if she survived she would have serious brain damage.”
But Violetta did survive and without any long-lasting damage.
Then, in 2016, after feeling unwell with severe pain in her leg Violetta was diagnosed with cancer.
Artemis said: “We received the diagnosis on Violetta’s birthday but couldn’t bear to tell her on a day when she was supposed to be celebrating, so we told her the next day.”
The diagnosis was osteosarcoma, a cancerous tumour in the bone, which was aggressive and over 21cm in length.
The first step was to shrink the tumour and Violetta then underwent a major operation to remove her shin bone and knee bone. She now has a replacement metal ‘bone’ in her leg.
The past year has been incredibly tough on Artemis, her husband and their three children. When a child is diagnosed with cancer, it impacts the whole family, as parents find themselves juggling work and home life.
And this is where Momentum stepped in to help.
Artemis remembers the day she met Momentum co-founder Bianca Effemey at Kingston Hospital.
“I felt Bianca was someone who really understood what I was going through. The support from Momentum has been invaluable. They understood completely how I was feeling, the anxiety, the juggling. I had to take so much time off work and it was such a financial strain. They helped us through it all, in so many ways, with trips and treats and little gifts in the post, and mainly just by being there, on the end of the phone.”
In the autumn of 2016 Violetta, along with several other children and teenagers supported by Momentum, was invited to visit Global Radio Studios in Leicester Square to meet their favourite radio presenters at Capital Radio and Heart FM, and try their hand out at DJ-ing.
It was an exhausting day for Violetta, who was in the middle of a chemotherapy course, but she said she wouldn’t have missed it for the world.
“It was seriously one of the best days of my life,” she said. “It was so much fun seeing how radio works and meeting the celebrity presenters. I felt so happy that Momentum had chosen me to go on the trip.”
Momentum also gave the family tickets to see Mamma Mia in the West End, to lift their spirits during their never-ending hospital visits.
Artemis said: “We have been offered the use of one of Momentum’s holiday homes and when Violetta feels strong enough we would love to go. Momentum have been so kind to us, always trying to find ways to help alleviate the stresses of Violetta having cancer. We can never thank them enough.”