Watching her twin daughters open presents and blow out the candles on their second birthday at the weekend was a joyous occasion tinged with sadness for Sheree Roose.
She kissed, cuddled and laughed with Sativa and Indee and cherished the moment because it could be the last birthday the twins share.
Sativa has been battling acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) since she was four months old.
Three months ago she had a bone marrow transplant that was supposed to cure her of her life-threatening disease. But three days before her second birthday, Miss Roose and her partner Tim Eagle were told their daughter had relapsed. The bone marrow transplant was her last chance at life.
"She went to do her routine blood test on Thursday morning then we were called back to Tauranga Hospital and they asked if Tim could come too so right then we knew it was bad news," Miss Roose said.
"Her doctor in Tauranga told us and we had to go up to Starship on Friday morning. Up there they said they were sorry for putting us through such an anxious wait and then they said unfortunately the transplant hadn't worked."
Two weeks ago Sativa's blood test showed 1-2 per cent of leukaemia blasts in her blood but last week results showed this had increased to 40 per cent.
"When we heard that, I knew how serious it was and then everything else drowned out," Miss Roose said.
Sativa almost lost her battle in October last year and spent 20 days on a ventilator. Three times Miss Roose and Mr Eagle were told Sativa would not make it. They said their goodbyes but the resilient toddler pushed through.
"Every day when she was on the ventilator I regretted not cherishing every last smile, her giggles and hearing her voice," Miss Roose said.
"Whatever comes out of next week, I am grateful we were able to spend these past five months being able to play with her, love her and celebrate each day with her." Today Sativa is back in Auckland awaiting one final operation. Because of her small size, she was only given a small amount of bone marrow in the original operation on May 24. They froze the rest of the donated bone marrow, which had come from Germany.
This time, doctors hope to inject more bone marrow into her body in the hope of "pushing out" her cancerous cells, Miss Roose said.
"There's no other option for us. They're trying something new. It's got about a 10 per cent chance to work," she said. "They don't think it's going to work, it hasn't really worked in the past and our doctor had to persuade the other doctors to give it a go because there's nothing else we can do."
Miss Roose said it was unlikely the operation would cure her daughter but could prolong her life. "When I'm alone I cry and I weep. I don't think I can imagine my life without her not being here. She's so strong, she has no idea what's going on but what I want most of all now is that she's not sore or in pain.
"Now I just want to highlight how far she's come. She's still come very far in her little life and she's brought inspiration to everyone," she said. "It's sad, this relapse but there's still a bit of hope. She is probably dying and her odds weren't that good at the start but I don't want everyone to think I've given up hope."