Back to kohanga reo for the little girl who fought cancer and won

She's the little girl who fought cancer and won.

Four-year-old Ka'iulani Forbes is back home, happy and healthy after undergoing a six-month trial in Barcelona with humanised immunotherapy treatment.

After initially being declined, Ka'iulani's parents fought hard to get her on the trial. She was finally accepted in August. Fast forward six months and it's good news for the Forbes family.

"It really is the best she's ever been, the healthiest she's been," says her father Manihera Forbes. "She's glowing now, we've never seen it so good - these are the best times of her life."

Ka'iulani Forbes.
Ka'iulani Forbes. Photo credit: The Hui

Since being diagnosed with stage four neuroblastoma in December 2016, Ka'iulani has been fighting for her life. Her parents Moana and Manihera say they had exhausted all treatment options in New Zealand. Her mum Moana says it's been a rollercoaster-ride of emotions for the whānau.

"It's been quite painful. It's like we've hit some really low lows, probably the lowest I've ever been but I've hit some highs that I never in a million years would have ever imagined."

But now Ka'iulani is able to start to enjoy the simple things of childhood. For two years she hasn't been able to attend kohanga reo, but she recently returned - something Manihera says she had been looking forward to during her gruelling treatment.

"Kaiulani would say, 'I want to practice my homework,' so she would give her a piece of paper and felt tips. And she would sit down at a desk and do stuff that's on what she'd been looking forward to going back to kohanga…. Yes, she's so excited."

Ka'iulani will need to have surgery to remove the dead tumours from her body, but that won't happen until she's older. For now, she can just catch up on being a kid and head back to kohanga reo.

Watch the video for the full report.

The Hui