A SEVEN year old girl is fighting two types of blood cancer at the same time.
Lauryn Robinson, from Mold, Flintshire, is undergoing aggressive chemotherapy to treat both acute lymphoblastic leukaemia and Burkitts non-Hodgkins lymphoma.
The ordeal has already caused Lauryn to stop breathing once, but the Ysgol Bryn Gwalia pupil is determined to battle on.
Her mum, Emma Robinson, 34, said the news was “mind blowing”.
Speaking from Lauryn’s bedside, she told how consultants at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool could not yet find any other child worldwide who has suffered both illnesses simultaneously.
She said: “We first became aware Lauryn was ill in March when her face started swelling.
“We took her into A&E at Wrexham Maelor but at first they couldn’t work out what was wrong. She started treatment at Alder Hey six weeks ago, but then she had a blood clot and a seizure.
“That was when she stopped breathing. She had to go to intensive care because she’d had a reaction to the chemotherapy, but she came through it.”
Despite Lauryn recovering “amazingly well”, specialists conducted further tests.
The results, which came back last month, revealed the little girl was suffering from two types of blood cancer.
Emma, a secretary at Ysgol Nannerch and Ysgol y Foel, said: “It was when the cytogenetics results came back.
They showed she’s got one chromosome that is associated with non-Hodgkins lymphoma and one that is associated with leukaemia.
“I still can’t get my head around it,” said Emma. “The consultant at Alder Hey told us they were going to try and find out if any other child has had it or got it – but they haven’t yet.”
The condition, known as dual-hit leukaemia, is extremely rare even in adults – medical studies hosted online refer to 27 confirmed cases with an average age of 51.
Emma said: “They (Alder Hey consultants) went national and then they went international but they haven’t found any children who have both conditions.
“The consultants at Alder Hey have been speaking to a lot of people about it to see how it can be treated, but they’ve been looking at adult cases for guidance.
“Lauryn is on quite aggressive ‘chemo’ now.”
So far, Lauryn has proved herself very resilient.
Her mum added: “”When we got told we thought ‘typical Lauryn’. She is so unique anyway.
“She is so clever – it’s like talking to an adult.
“She’s been very ill but she’s bounced back from everything. She’s very good. She’s doing amazingly well. One of the consultants said she’d never seen a child be as well after her first bout of chemotherapy.”
Lauryn, a big fan of Formula 1 racing and retro 90s music, has been keeping her spirits up by listening to Steps and Backstreet Boys on her iPod, playing PlayStation 3 games and keeping in touch with family and friends.
Emma added: “We’ve had a huge amount of support. We’ve had visitors including Lauryn’s schoolfriends, which really cheers her up.”
However, Lauryn’s illness has taken its toll on the family.
Emma has not worked since the end of March and has remained by Lauryn’s side as much as possible.
She said: “It’s been hard. When we thought she just had leukaemia, I was coping well but finding this out was awful.
“But we’ve come out of it and we are staying positive.
“When she was first diagnosed with leukaemia we thought well it can be 90 per cent curable – but we don’t have that sort of statistic to think back on.
“Lauryn herself is a very strong girl. So many children suffer with illnesses, and miracles do happen.
“Things keep knocking her down but she gets back up.”