Published 1:13 am Friday, August 4, 2017

Eight-year-old Lilly Matt is always a cheerful girl no matter what life has thrown at her, but this week, she has something extra special to be happy about — she received her last chemo treatment on Tuesday.

Matt celebrated with the staff at Nemours Children’s Specialty Care i Pensacola on Tuesday.

The staff dressed in crazy garb, sang and threw confetti at her, and got her a cookie cake.

When she finished, she rang the bell symbolic of her completion after nearly 18 months in her battle.

“I would like to thank everyone who has helped us during our fight, for all the love and support we have received.“ she said Wednesday morning during a radio interview on WOPP to which the Star-News was invited. “Yesterday was my last day of chemo. I have won my fight, but my battle is not over.”

Matt will have an MRI in four weeks that will give the family better detail on if she will go for another round of chemo or not.

Matt has long battled kidney issues caused by hydronephrosis.

Her mom, Brandy, said Wednesday, doctors are working to determine if Lilly needs a kidney transplant or if it’s best to just remove her kidney that doesn’t function properly.

She has under gone countless surgeries on her right kidney to combat the hydronephrosis.

Brandy said that her other kidney functions at 100 percent, and there is concern that if Lilly has the transplant that any remaining cancer cells could attack the new kidney.

“If doctors decide the transplant is the best way, they will test the family first to see if there is a match,” she said.

Despite the uncertainty, in true Lilly fashion, she was all smiles Wednesday, giving away hugs to all gathered at the radio station.

There’s a lot of things on Lilly’s list that she’s looking forward to doing, but her main one right now is going to school like a regular student, she said.

“I don’t get to go to PE yet,” she said. “But I’ve missed my friends.”

Lilly said she’s thankful for her family.

“They are the best family,” she said. “They have been so supportive. I love my family.”

She also was thankful for teacher at Opp Elementary School who dedicated their time to help her in hours she was able to attend school.

“They helped teach me,” she said.

This summer Lilly was able to participate in Shine Academy, OCS’s summer program.

“It was fun,” she said. “We got to go fishing.”

Lilly said she also is looking forward to going to Rock N Jump and being able to play in the sand again.