Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

New Fight for Rhys

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

New Fight for Rhys

Article excerpt

Byline: By Julie Cush

Tormented Rhys Grundy has been cruelly struck down by cancer yet again.

The leukaemia which has haunted him for most of his short life has returned for the fourth time, his family said today.

For 18 months, the youngster, who has been fighting the disease since he was four, was cancer-free and his parents were praying for a miracle.

But last month, they were given the horrendous news the disease has come back yet again.

The 11-year-old has already endured two bone marrow transplants and his body is not strong enough to undergo a third.

Doctors at Newcastle's Royal Victoria Infirmary are treating him with a new chemotherapy drug, Glivec, and mum and dad Donna and Lee, of Fenham, face an anxious three-week wait to find out if he is in remission again.

Donna, who has two other sons, Ryan, 13, and George, seven, said: "Although we were expecting it at some stage, Rhys has never been one to play by the book so it was still a massive shock when we found out.

"The last few weeks have been terrible.

"The cancer has spread to his bones but not his brain.

"All we can do now is to try and live life as normally as possible and wait and see what happens. We are determined to keep Rhys at home as much as possible this time."

Thousands of Chronicle readers have been touched by Rhys's story since we told in 1996 how he had developed a rare form of leukaemia which left him with months to live. He underwent a life-saving bone marrow transplant at Newcastle General Hospital after the Chronicle launched a campaign to find a donor.

More than 2,000 people responded to our appeal, which found a suitable match from landscape gardener George Partridge, 49, and led to a successful transplant.

But in 2000, the disease returned and he had to undergo a second marrow transplant, which he was given just a 25 per cent chance of surviving. …

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