Cancer survivor helps his sister in her battle against the same disease
A SCHOOLBOY who battled leukaemia is now inspiring his sister in her fight against the same disease.
Doctors say there is no family link between Daniel and Chelsea Brandrick, from Egerton, contracting the same cancer, adding that it was just “very bad luck”.
Daniel, aged 14, was diagnosed with leukaemia in June, 2006, and is now in remission after a harrowing battle again the illness in which he twice cheated death.
The Brandrick family were dealt another huge blow after Chelsea, aged 21, was told she too had the disease in August.
Mum Suzanne Brandrick, from Egerton, said: “There is no reason why both Daniel and Chelsea were diagnosed with leukaemia.
“I have been reassured by the doctors there is no link because their sister Jessica, who is 10, was worried.
“The Christie hospital say they have not had siblings who have both had the illness before. I was told it was bad luck, which was an understatement.
“I am so proud of both of them. Chelsea is being so strong and positive and Dan is protective of her and just wants to hug her.”
Daniel, a pupil at Turton School, volunteered to have his head shaved in support of his sister, whose treatment caused her beautiful red hair to fall out.
Chelsea, a student at John Moores University where she is studying forensic psychology and criminal justice, was on holiday in Turkey with friends when she noticed bruising on her body. Doctors confirmed her fears that it could be leukaemia.
She said: “When I was told I had leukaemia, I was with my grandma. I just thought how can I tell mum. I knew I would be able to cope with it, but I was so worried about my family going through it again.”
The prognosis for Chelsea looks good and she will complete her final round of chemotherapy within the next two months.
Chelsea, who is planning on going back to university next autumn, said: “Within five minutes of the diagnosis my life changed. I had no control over it, it was all about appointments and seeing doctors.”
When the treatment caused Chelsea’s hair to fall out, Daniel wanted his head shaved, which was done by his older sister and other members of his family earlier this month.
Chelsea, who was also a Turton School pupil, said: “I think he was more upset than me when my hair started falling out. I am so proud of him for doing it and raising the money.”
Daniel’s sponsored head-shave has raised more than £1,700 for Calum’s Cabin, which offers much-needed respite breaks for families during the lengthy process of chemotherapy treatment and recovery.
He said: “When I come home from school I go and speak to her and see how she is. I just wanted to do something to show I supported her and to stop her feeling upset.
“Everyone seems to like my hair short so I think I will keep the style.”
His headteacher John Porteous said: “Dan has shown great courage in adversity and now great care in thinking about how best to help Chelsea and other young people through this charity. He is an example to us all.”
To donate to Calum’s Cabin visit justgiving.com/ Suzanne-Brandrick.
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