Norwich toy shop owner helps Deryn Blackwell celebrate his birthday
- Credit: copyright: Archant 2013
A big-hearted Norwich toy shop owner donated more than £250 of Star Wars Lego sets as a special gift to put a smile on a battling teenager's face for his birthday.
It is Deryn Blackwell's 14th birthday today, and knowing the teenager would be celebrating the special day from his hospital bed, John Fielding, managing director at Langley's in the Royal Arcade, said he wanted to do something to help the youngster and his family.
He said he especially wanted to help after after recently losing a friend to cancer.
Young Deryn, from Watton, has been battling a rare duo of cancers, Langerhans cell sarcoma and leukaemia, since he was 10 years old.
Mr Fielding said: 'It [cancer] is always in everyone's minds. None of us are very far from friends or relatives who have undergone treatment for this illness. I have two children, and I cannot imagine anything more difficult than someone's child having cancer. You try to put yourself in their shoes, but it is every parent's dread.
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'But I am in a fortunate position where I can make a positive influence on someone else's life, however small. It makes me feel good to be able to help in a small way at a critical time of year and a critical part of Deryn's life.'
Deryn has been at hospital in Bristol since February after he underwent a bone-marrow which doctors hoped would treat the two conditions. However, after weeks of waiting, the Wayland Academy pupil was told the donor's marrow had failed to graft and his last chance would be to have his own bone marrow stem cells put back in.
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The family have been waiting patiently to find out whether that had worked. They were recently told by medics that they were ensuring Deryn is infection free as much as possible so that he can 'pass peacefully and not in pain and full of infection'.
Today, he received more than 170 birthday cards which his mum spent three hours putting up around his hospital room.