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lucarecoveryjul2018

Youngster Luca has been given the all-clear from cancer – and is ready to resume playing for Rosegrove FC.

Blessed Trinity student Luca, 12, was diagnosed with nodular lymphocyte predominant Hodgkin lymphoma, an uncommon type of Hodgkin lymphoma.

It all started with a lump on his neck a year ago but on July 12th this year he got to ring the bell three times at Manchester Children’s Hospital which meant his treatment was over.

Mum Claire admitted she had no idea of the horror to come when Luca was playfighting with his gran and they noticed a lump on his neck.

“We didn’t think much of it really but we noticed the lump and took him to the doctors,” said Claire, who is a HLTA at Barnoldswick CoE Primary School.

“We then got the absolutely devastating news it was cancer. It was every parent’s worst nightmare and it was a rare form of cancer. We had no history of cancer in the family and so we didn’t really know what we were dealing with.”

Luca had an operation to remove the lump and was put on a clinical trial which included four types of CVP chemotherapy.

“He was on that for three months and just as we finished around the end of January this year, we went back to the Children’s Hospital on the Monday morning and by the afternoon he was back in, the lump had come back.

“It had transformed into a more aggressive cancer which only happens in five per cent of cases but ours was one.

“We were devastated.”

Luca then had to have eight cycles of chemotherapy which had side effects of sickness.

“If I could have swapped with him in a heartbeat I would,” said Claire, with Luca's dad Jon and they have a daughter Mollie, 14 as well as Luca. “It’s so hard watching your son go through that, being all hooked up, being violently sick and you just feel completely helpless.

“Youngsters are so resilient though. I remember when his cancer came back the doctor asked for any questions (about his cancer) and he just asked if there was a plug on the ward for his X-Box!”

Luca had a tutor at home with work sent by Blessed Trinity and teacher Laura Murray made sure he came into school for an hour here and there to see his friends and for the social side.

Then on July 12th this year, the family went back to Manchester Children’s Hospital.

“There is a bell there and, when you get the all-clear, the doctor reads a short poem and you get to ring the bell three times.

“I had watched so many parents do it and hoped one day it would be us and it was so emotional when it was.”

Luca is now back at Blessed Trinity, with his friends holding a number of fundraising events in his name for MacMillan Research, as did his club Rosegrove FC.

“He can’t wait to get back playing football. It was funny as he couldn’t wait to go back to school a couple of months ago. Now

we have to drag him out of bed again!”

Luca admitted: “It has been a tough year but I was so happy to get the all-clear. I jumped up and down when I got the news.”