Love and luck sent from EDP readers to Deryn before his big operation

Deryn having an arm wrestle two days before his operation

Deryn having an arm wrestle two days before his operation - Credit: Archant

Today a 13-year-old boy from Watton woke up knowing it was the last full day before potential life-saving operation.

Deryn Blackwell has one of the rarest cancers in the world, and for the last two weeks, the Wayland Academy pupil has as been having intensive radiotherapy treatment at the Bristol Royal Hospital for Children to prepare his body for the bone marrow transplant tomorrow afternoon.

And the EDP has followed Deryn and his family's journey from their home in Watton, to the treatment in the south-west.

He was diagnosed with leukaemia when he was 10, and just two years into treatment was told he had relapsed and developed Langerhans cell sarcoma – one of only six cases in the world.

Thought to be the only person to have both cancers at the same time, Deryn has had pre-operation treatments of body radiotherapy and targeted radiotherapy to his throat, which is where the tumours were found.


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Tomorrow's bone marrow transplant will take around two hours, and then Deryn must spend between three and seven months in total isolation because of his low immunity.

The family don't know much about Deryn's bone marrow donor, except that he is a young man from Germany described as a 9/10 match, and whose bone marrow will be extracted, bagged, refrigerated and flown to England today – 24 hours before the operation.

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Support on Twitter, on the EDP website, and directly to the Blackwell family has been 'fantastic' according to Deryn's parents, Simon and Callie.

His dad said: 'He looks at all the messages and thinks he's just a boy from Watton and he's being tweeted so many times, and has hundreds of followers.'

His mum said the radiotherapy treatment Deryn was receiving, which blasts him with as much radiotherapy as surgeons think his body can take, is making him more and more tired, but said his spirits and morale were as high as ever.

She said: 'We have had so many messages from people who we don't even know about Deryn, and his influence on them

'The support has been amazing, and it's what is keeping him going.

'He's touching hundreds of people, and he has no idea.'

His dad said yesterday Deryn went to the cinema with his girlfriend and the rest of the family.

He said: 'He knows what's coming, and he knows exactly what's going to happen.

'He just wants to get on with it now.'

You can tweet Deryn using @_DoEveRYthiNg or visit www.doeverything.org.uk

rosa.mcmahon@archant.co.uk

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