A surprise visit from the Tooth Fairy and the chance to dress as her favourite dragon gave a dying girl a reason to smile.
Victoria Vysotskaya, 6, was diagnosed with medulloblastoma, the most common type of cancerous brain tumour found in children, a year ago but her parents have now been told her chance of survival is extremely slim and she may only have months to live.
She's had surgery and radiation therapy and last month completed the seven rounds of chemotherapy prescribed for her but tests this month showed more cancer in her spine.
Her father, Vlad, said the family were exploring the options available to them and hoped to give Victoria as much time as possible but her chance of survival was slim.
"The MRI showed the disease is still there. It came back which is pretty bad news. The first time around we had a chance to beat it but the second time there's really no effective treatment."
He and his wife, Maria, were also making sure their daughter enjoyed whatever time she had left by taking her for walks and trips to the museum.
Today's surprise was another memorable experience for the bubbly girl who loved to dance, he said.
Ponsonby toy store owner and an active member of the country's Russian community Liza Shieff organised today's surprise for Victoria to make sure she had at least one more reason to smile.
"It should be quite magical for her," she said.
The Lower Hutt girl was picked up in a car decorated in a fairy theme and driven by Shieff dressed as the Tooth Fairy then dressed as her favourite character, Toothless the dragon from How to Train Your Dragon, before being whisked away for an afternoon of fun.
Victoria stopped at a Ponsonby home with the "Tooth Fairy" to collect a child's tooth and leave behind their money before heading to Shieff's toy store, Bebabo, to select some toys.
Liza said Victoria knew all about the Tooth Fairy and had already had two visits from her herself.
"I just want her to be happy," Shieff said. "I'm just hoping that Victoria had a blast and enjoyed a little bit of magic."
Vysotskaya said his daughter would love the surprise. "She gets pretty excited about a lot of things and Toothless is one of them."
He said the family were grateful to all those who helped organised the afternoon and were humbled by all the support they were receiving.
"It just shows there are a lot of people with hearts of gold," he said. "It's really, really touching. It's really humbling. It does give us extra strength in fighting this even though the chances are slim . . . it gives us hope."
He said Victoria had remained in relatively good spirits throughout the ordeal and had endured all the procedures pretty well. "I can't say I would have been that tough."
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