DUAL Hepburn premiership ruckman Salesi Uhi wants to thank his club and the region's extended football community in helping to make a life-saving play for his daughter.
Extensive fundraising allowed the family to move to Seattle for Violet to access a rare form of immunotherapy to tackle her leukaemia. The Uhi family arrived home with Violet in remission just before Christmas after almost six months' treatment in the United States.
The youngster is nearing another major milestone, getting stronger on day 21 post-bone marrow transplant in the Royal Children's Hospital in Melbourne on Tuesday. Mr Uhi said specialists were hopeful that, excepting any health setbacks, Violet might be able to return home by day 30.
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Mr Uhi and wife Tess, who are based in Melbourne, said getting to the US would not have been possible without all the love and support.
"Overall, the experience in Seattle was great because Violet was feeling really well and with minimal side-effects...(the treatment) put her in good preparation for the bone marrow transplant," Mr Uhi said. "
She only had a very mild headache then a fever that landed her in hospital for two nights, but otherwise everything was done as an outpatient.
"We could be tourists a little when Violet was well enough to be in crowds."
Mr Uhi said it was still early days in Violet's transplant recovery but she was through the worst stages and handling treatment and isolation "like a pro".
Violet had twice relapsed with leukaemia, each time affecting her central nervous system not her bone marrow and this limited her treatment options in Australia.
CAR T therapy, a form of immunotherapy, works to target and kill the disease in her body allowing the good T-cells to re-populate.
Since the Uhi's return, government approval has made the rare treatment available in Melbourne but going to Seattle was the family's best option mid-last year.
Bone marrow transplant was the next step.
Violent will remain in isolation when she returns home. All going well, Violet can re-join school at day 100 post-transplant.
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