Dad in living nightmare after teenage son diagnosed with leukaemia

Reporter:

Claire Gallagher

THE father of a teenager who was recently diagnosed with a rare form of leukaemia says it has been like “living a nightmare”.


Keen footballer Danny Jarrett, 14, is fighting acute lymphoblastic leukaemia which only affects about 150 children across the UK.


The Borras Rangers player is undergoing an intensive course of chemotherapy and won’t be able to play football for at least two years.


His dad, electrician Luke Jarrett, said the family is still in shock at the diagnosis which came just days before Christmas.


“We’re in shock and you don’t think it will happen to you,” he said.
“It’s like we’re living a nightmare.”


Danny fell ill in November with swollen glands, leg pains and sickness.
On December 12, he was taken into Wrexham Maelor Hospital and within an hour was diagnosed with the rare leukaemia.


Since then he has been in and out of Alder Hey Children’s Hospital receiving the strongest form of chemotherapy and is unable to attend school at Bishop Heber High in Malpas.


“The doctors said it came on very strong, it’s a bad form of leukemia,” continued Luke.


“He’s been up and down, it’s like a rollercoaster.”


The treatment will have to continue for the next three years and four months with the first 12 months being intensive chemotherapy.


Danny, who lives on Bodwyn Park, Gresford with his mum Karen, 35, dad Luke, 37, and younger sister Paige, 11, also plays football for the Chester Schoolboys at Upton County Offices.


Luke said that not being able to play football will be particularly hard for Danny because he loves it and is also a Manchester United fan.


“I’ll be taking him to watch games but it will be a couple of years before he will be fit enough to play properly again,” he said.


Luke said the support from Alder Hey and children’s cancer charities CLIC Sargent and CHICS had been invaluable as well as support from friends and family.


The family want to focus on fundraising for CLIC Sargent and CHICS as well as Danny’s home tuition as he won’t be able to attend school through the treatment.


A charity walk up Snowdon has been organised for May 8 starting at 8.30pm.
Already 150 people have vowed to take part but to register your interest email nick.white@wynnstay.co.uk.

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