A year after she captured the hearts of Canadians with her day-long adventure as a superhero while in the midst of a fierce fight with cancer, a young Edmonton girl is thriving.
Seven-year-old Mable Tooke, whose alter-ego is SpiderMable, finished treatments for acute lymphoblastic leukemia – a form of bone marrow and blood cancer – last November. She missed a lot of time at school, wasn’t able to take part in many activities young children take for granted and had been told by her doctors that she couldn’t have a pet because her risk of infection was too great.
Chemotherapy is over with and now Mable is well enough to have a kitten named Misty.
“She has lots of energy, she’s a girl and she is just the cutest little thing,” Mable told Global News as she described what she has in common with the cat.
On Sept. 28, 2015, the Children’s Wish Foundation granted the young Spider-Man fan’s wish to fight crime like a superhero on the streets of Alberta’s capital. Mable had become a fan of the comics while undergoing treatments after being diagnosed with cancer in September 2013.
An elaborate plan was hatched to make transform Mable into SpiderMable and to make her dream come true as a whole city cheered her on.
Watch below: Global’s coverage of Edmonton’s SpiderMable adventure.
While Mable has already heroically battled through adversity and is doing better now, cancer survivors like her may eventually be called upon to summon some of their superhero strength again, according to doctors.
“Because children are growing when they receive their cancer therapy, and medications used to treat cancer are toxic to cells, we do see some late complications,” Dr. Maria Spavor, a pediatric oncologist, explained.
According to Spavor, two-thirds of childhood cancer survivors will see after effects later in life, such as problems with fertility and heart function.
Mable may also have to battle the cognitive effects from her therapy that could impact her studies at school.
“Some of our patients…still struggle with some subjects in school,” Spavor explained. “So math is probably the most common one that we see.”
“(There’s) no way to escape that. Her medicines have left a mark,” Lisa Tooke, Mable’s mother said. “But they’ve also saved her life.”
Despite the ongoing challenges Edmonton’s favourite superhero will likely face, Mable’s mother indicates her daughter’s quality of life has improved significantly and that she is grateful for it.
“We’ve met other parents that weren’t so lucky,” Lisa said. “Mable’s had a friend that she had to say goodbye to not too long ago.”
-with files from Su-Ling Goh