Brave little Joseph Devaney is growing stronger every day as he battles leukaemia.
With Joseph now in remission, his proud mum and dad Lindsay and Leon are looking forward to the day when he can return home from the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital.
And they are full of praise for how their son has coped with the life-threatening illness.
“He takes all his medicine himself and he’s always smiling; everyone knows him on the ward,” said Leon.
“He wants to be up and playing, but he can’t walk properly at the moment. He has to walk with a frame and he’s got to have physio.”
Joseph has overcome many other setbacks since being diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia in March, including a life-saving operation and harrowing side effects of his treatment.
One of the most difficult days for the family was his third birthday on May 6.
“We had planned a party for him on the ward and we had a magician, party food, and people coming to see him,” said Leon.
“But the day before he was told he had CPE (a bacteria that can cause infection) in his stool.
“So we had to cancel his party. He couldn’t eat because we thought he’d need an operation. But then he didn’t have to go to theatre after all. He didn’t have CPE. It was great to hear, but we’d starved him on his birthday for no reason.”
So now Leon and Lindsay are determined to treat Joseph every chance they get.
“We’ve just spoilt him,” said Leon.
“Anything he asks for, we get him, because he deserves it more than anything.
“We’ve bought him an electric police motorbike. He’s been driving it up and down the corridors. He goes down for his X-rays on it.”
The Devaney family are extremely grateful to everyone who has helped and supported them during this traumatic time.
“Lindsay’s mum Jean has been amazing, the other kids have been staying with her,” said Leon. “Friends have been picking them up from school just to make life easier for us.
“Lindsay’s friend Nikki Chadwick has been like a PA for her mum, telling her what’s going on in school on which day and date. Also St. Luke’s Parish Church have been a great support for Jean too.
“We’re dealing with it now. There’s nothing we can do, except be there for Joseph and get him through it.”
Leon was also delighted to attend a special fundraiser for Joseph and his family at the Queens Hotel in Morecambe on Saturday.
Leon and Lindsay, in conjunction with The Visitor, are campaigning for GPs and parents to be more aware of the symptoms of leukaemia.
A line-up of entertainers, including Lancaster X Factor contestant Paul Akister and Britain’s Got Talent finalist Steven Hall, gave up their time for free to perform at the seafront venue.
Pub staff and host Danny Matthews from The Bay radio wore ‘Joseph’s Journey’ campaign T-shirts and money was collected to help the family.
“I just wish Joseph had been able to come along too, even just for an hour, but we can’t risk it,” said Leon.
“We’ve got to be so careful of infection.
“But thank you to everyone for all the support. Our friends and family have been amazing.”