Brave Burnley schoolboy diagnosed with leukaemia at start of pandemic is inspiration for fund raising event
The family of a motorbike mad Burnley schoolboy, who was diagnosed with leukaemia at the start of the pandemic, have organised a fund raising event for the hospital where he is being treated.
All the proceeds from the glittering VIP night of entertainment on Saturday, November 6th, will go towards Manchester Children's Hospital to provide little extras for the young patients.
Eight-year-old Declan Smith has been a patient there since his illness was discovered on March 23rd last year, the very start of the Covid-19 lockdown.
Sent home from his school, Rosewood Primary, with covid symptoms Declan started to complain of earache which his GP prescribed antibiotics for.
His mum, Stacey Lumsden, became concerned for her son when the pills made him sick and he became lethargic and pale and just didn't seem himself.
Stacey said: "I decided to take him to urgent care at Burnley and after they took him into triage and did blood tests the doctors told me Declan needed an urgent blood transfusion."
Blue lighted to the Royal Blackburn Hospital, Declan spent four nights there before Stacey was told her son needed specialist treatment at the Manchester hospital.
"It was traumatic to see Declan on a ward with so many children suffering from cancer and I asked the doctors ' does my son have cancer? ' '' added Stacey.
Further rounds of tests revealed that Declan had acute lymphocytic leukaemia known as ALL. Although a devastating blow to the family, this type of leukaemia is treatable with chemotherapy over three years.
Declan began his treatment immediately and has a mixture of oral chemo, which he can take at home, and rounds at the hospital.
Stacey, who has received support from her partner, Carl Bolland, said: "Declan was on the 'A 'regime, the lightest level, for the first four weeks at the start of treatment and then, after a routine MRD test he was put on regime C, the most intensive chemotherapy.
"We go to Manchester every four weeks for treatment and he had to have a lumber puncture every 12 weeks also."
The resilient youngster has taken it all in his stride and is back with his classmates. Although he can't do contact sports, Declan can go swimming and also take part in his beloved KTM biking and spending time with his friends and family, including his dad, Wayne Smith and his big sister, Katie (13)
Stacey, who works at the school as a welfare assistant reading TA, said:" I would like to thank Rosewood for all the support they have given to us as a family.
"Everyone has gone above and beyond for us, they have been amazing."
Declan's charity event has been organised by Stacey's cousin, Darren Crawford, in a bid to raise as much money as possible to buy little extra comforts and treats for the young patients going through such a tough time.
The venue is the James Hargreaves suite at Burnley Football Club, from 3pm til late. There will be entertainment from Burnley's own young magician Jasper Cherry, a finalist on TV's Britain's Got Talent, and singer Matty Lamb.
Tickets are £5 for adults, £1 for children and under threes are free. There will be a pie and pea supper. To book tickets ring 07792072153.
An appeal has gone out for local companies, shops and businesses to donate prizes for the raffle.
Darren said: "It's every parents' worst nightmare to hear the news that your child has a possible life threatening cancer.
"Raising money for the ward that Declan was treated on helps keep the children that are so poorly get what they need. Little extras to put a smile on their face during these testing times.
"They have been fantastic with Declan and his parents. We just want to give them something back in a way of thank you."
Darren has also set up a donation page and if you would like to contribute please click HERE