FOR many four-year-olds, starting school is the biggest challenge of their young lives but for little Matilda Fisher it was nothing compared with the gruelling rounds of chemotherapy she faced throughout the year.

Now Matilda, who has just completed her first half term in the reception class of Staverton Primary, near Trowbridge, has the backing of her new friends and teachers to raise money for the Children’s Cancer and Leukaemia Group.

Her parents Gabby and Dave Fisher, of Herbleaze, Staverton, were devastated their daughter was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia before Christmas and went onto receive six months of intense chemotherapy at Bristol Children’s Hospital and then at the RUH.

The four-year-old is now in remission but will continue to receive monthly doses of the treatment up until February 2019, to stop a relapse, plus her daily medication.

Despite having to go through hell, her parents could not be prouder of the courage she has shown and are deeply touched that pupils and staff at the school will dress in yellow and gold to raise money for the charity.

“She is such a fighter. For Matilda to have gone through so much at such a young age, and smile through the chemotherapy, shows what a special girl she is,” said Mrs Fisher, 28, who is her full-time carer.

“Receiving all this chemotherapy has been hell for her but she just gets on with it.

"It has been really tough for me, my son Marley, one, my husband Dave and all our family, but what has been incredible is the support people have shown us.

“Friends and family just leap at the opportunity to do everything they can to help out, as has everyone at Staverton Primary.

“Matilda has only been there since September but they have been magnificent. We are told immediately if there is a bug going around or any other illnesses for her safety and the parents are helping there too.

“A few weeks ago the school said they would like to do a fundraiser for Children’s Cancer and Leukaemia Group, which is one we recommended, and get everyone to dress in the colours of yellow and gold. It is so heartwarming to have that support.”

Earlier this year more than £4,000 was raised from the family’s Just Giving page to cover her care costs.

Year 6 teacher Sophie Kilbey said: “She is an inspiration to everyone at the school. She was loving everyone dressing in yellow and gold.

"We have put up gold ribbons on our willow trellis to mark the start of our year of fundraising for the charity.”