Family counts down the days until 8-year-old’s cancer milestone & More Trending News

 

All 8-year-old Lucas McLean wished for Christmas was hair, eyebrows, eyelashes and Lego.

While these needs might have been granted, the household of the Timaru boy twice recognized with cancer is now ready on the destiny of an excellent greater need, and is counting down to February 2.

That date will mark 100 days since Lucas underwent a bone marrow transplant, after being given a 20% likelihood of survival when he relapsed in July 2022, two years after ending remedy for T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukaemia.

His mom Melanie Richards mentioned this may signify the transplant had been successful, after going via what she describes as “each guardian’s worst nightmare’’.

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“From transplant day is day zero,’’ Richards mentioned. “Lucas is wonderful. He has overwhelmed the odds and had a 20% likelihood of survival.

“Look at him now.’’

The as soon as very unwell boy is now out and about, mad about dinosaurs and automobiles, eager to speak about his pet canines, and enthusiastic about college.

“I’m wanting ahead to seeing my associates,’’ he mentioned.

Lucas McLean, 8, of Timaru, loves cars, dinosaurs, and being home with his family.

JOHN BISSET/Stuff

Lucas McLean, 8, of Timaru, loves automobiles, dinosaurs, and being house together with his household.

He can also be happy with the 1451 beads he has collected for every traumatic or brave step he has taken in his battle in opposition to leukaemia.

He continues to be owed a number of beads, his mom mentioned.

The final date Lucas went to high school was July 8. It was simply earlier than the college holidays and his household received Covid-19.

Then it was confirmed Lucas’ cancer had returned “with a vengeance’’.

Lucas McLean, 8, and his mother Melanie Richards show some of the 1451 beads he has collected for each traumatic or courageous step he has taken in his battle against leukaemia.

JOHN BISSET/Stuff

Lucas McLean, 8, and his mom Melanie Richards present a few of the 1451 beads he has collected for every traumatic or brave step he has taken in his battle in opposition to leukaemia.

He started chemotherapy remedy on July 26, at Christchurch Hospital, and had quite a few blood transfusions, two lumbar punctures, a Hickman line inserted in his chest to take blood and provides him intravenous fluids, medicines and chemotherapy.

He spent nearly three-and-a-half months there to get his physique into remission in preparation to fly to Auckland Starship Hospital to obtain radiation and a stem-cell transplant.

In Auckland Lucas, and his mom and father, had been remoted for 5 months.

Lucas’ sister Ruby remained in Timaru.

Lucas McLean, 8, points to his pet dogs on a blanket given to the family by a friend featuring photos of some of his favourite things.

JOHN BISSET/Stuff

Lucas McLean, 8, factors to his pet canines on a blanket given to the household by a good friend that includes images of a few of his favorite issues.

“He had six rounds of whole physique radiation, conditioning his physique for the transplant.’’

Lucas underwent the transplant surgical procedure on October 25.

Richards mentioned she didn’t know the title of the “fantastic’’ Australian man who donated his wholesome stems cells, saving her 8-year-old son’s life, however she does consider him as an angel.

“We are allowed to write down him a letter to say ‘thank you’.’’

Following the surgical procedure, Richards mentioned it was anticipated the household would keep in Auckland until February.

However, due to Lucas’ profitable response to the remedy, they got here house simply earlier than Christmas.

“That was wonderful… to be house for Christmas.

“As the saying goes, ‘home is where the heart is’.’’

Lucas McLean, 8, is happy to be home and playing with his Lego and toy dinosaurs.

JOHN BISSET/Stuff

Lucas McLean, 8, is joyful to be house and enjoying together with his Lego and toy dinosaurs.

But then, simply after per week of arriving house, Lucas developed graft-versus-host illness of the intestine, which occurs when the donor’s cells assault and injury the intestines and abdomen.

“We simply felt like ‘when is this going to be over?’.’’

She later learnt the situation was widespread in transplant sufferers.

Since then, Lucas has had once-a-week transfusions to deal with the situation and is doing “very well’’, she mentioned.

Lucas McLean, 8, sees his sister Ruby for the first time in months after his cancer treatment.

Supplied

Lucas McLean, 8, sees his sister Ruby for the first time in months after his cancer remedy.

“He’s nonetheless on a number of medicine however together with his relapse I’ve learnt loads as properly.

“It’s devastating and brutal, nevertheless it’s fascinating additionally simply how unimaginable the human physique is.’’

Seeing her son in ache and feeling helpless was one thing she wouldn’t overlook.

On his darkest days, a big fluffy blanket that includes images of his pet canines, household, associates and automobiles, helped Lucas get via, she mentioned.

Lucas McLean as a 2-year-old.

DOUG FIELD/STUFF

Lucas McLean as a 2-year-old.

“And via every part he nonetheless smiles and jokes.’’

While it had been one other difficult time for the household, and there was nonetheless an extended street to restoration, Richards mentioned her son was all the time “so joyful’’ and that was what received them via.

Lucas would begin again in school for half-days thrice per week, and he or she would attend with him for the first few weeks.

“He nonetheless will get drained, and his joints get fairly sore.’’

Lucas McLean when he was 6 and featured in The Timaru Herald’s weather kid section.

Valentina Bellomo/Stuff

Lucas McLean when he was 6 and featured in The Timaru Herald’s climate child part.

It was necessary Lucas might get again to some kind of normality, she mentioned.

“All any youngsters with critical sicknesses, all they need is to slot in and be regular.’’

She acknowledged the love and assist of the South Canterbury group.

“It has been so humbling.

Lucas McLean, 8, helps to thaw out his donor's stem cells all ready for his stem cell transplant.

Supplied

Lucas McLean, 8, helps to thaw out his donor’s stem cells all prepared for his stem cell transplant.

“Just to get again right here and see Ruby once more, and our household, it was fantastic.’’

The assist of hospital workers had additionally helped the household throughout Lucas’ remedy, she mentioned.

“It was a lonely time in Auckland.

“We don’t know anybody up there, however you make friendships with the mother and father of different youngsters going via one thing.

Lucas McLean, 8, asleep under his memory blanket in hospital.

Supplied

Lucas McLean, 8, asleep beneath his reminiscence blanket in hospital.

“It’s each guardian’s nightmare to observe your baby principally dying, and that brutality is terrible.’’

Richards has a Facebook web page, The Journey of Mr Strong, the place she shares tales of Lucas’ battle, and this helped to let folks understand how her son was doing throughout their lengthy hospital stays.

And now, in addition to wanting ahead to high school, Lucas cannot look ahead to his ‘Make a Wish’ to reach.

“He wished for a automobile racing simulator, as he is automobile mad,’’ Richards mentioned.

Family counts down the days until 8-year-old’s cancer milestone

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Family counts down the days until 8-year-old’s cancer milestone

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