Brave Ryan Edwards improving after treatment
BRAVE Ryan Edwards is continuing to battle during potentially lifesaving pioneering cancer treatment and is now on the slow road to recovery.
Since New Year's Day, the six-year-old has been in Tübingen, Germany, where he has been receiving medical help in a bid to hopefully prevent the rare childhood cancer neuroblastoma returning for a fourth time.
The treatment has included a haploidentical stem cell transplant and donated t-cells from his mother Julie.
After fears that Ryan's body was rejecting the transplant, the family received the news they had been longing to hear that the treatment was working.
However, Ryan developed a devastating complication called graft versus host disease. This is where the newly infused t-cells attack the host's body as they are too aggressive.
Julie, from Broadfields, Exeter, said: "Ryan developed this condition in his mouth, stomach, liver and skin. He became very poorly and about two weeks ago was readmitted to the transplant unit.
"The centre here has been doing haploidentical stem cell transplants for more than 15 years and so is ready to deal with this complication.
"Following a diagnosis by biopsy he was started on a combination of cutting-edge therapies designed to get him back to good health as quickly as possible.
"Having said that, we are looking at several months more treatment, as opposed to weeks. The only positive we can draw from this is that there is evidence to show that GvHD will also be destroying any remaining cancer cells.
"Over the past two weeks Ryan has made a slow but steady improvement and we hope it will continue. He has been able to stay awake more, is his usual happy, chatty self and is hungry and wanting food.
"We are taking things one day at a time, as we know only too well how quickly things can change, but for today we are feeling positive."
As Ryan's treatment continues, so is the fundraising appeal to pay for it. The setbacks Ryan has had means even more money needs to be raised.
Just over a year ago Ryan's family launched the Ryan Edwards Appeal to raise £300,000 to fund his potentially lifesaving treatment not funded by the NHS, or available in the UK. The total currently stands at almost £180,000.
Events coming up include a cocktail at Starz Bar and Restaurant in Exeter on Friday, February 22, at 7pm.
Tickets are still available costing £10 each, and there will be a complimentary cocktail, nibbles, live band, raffle and auction. To book call 01392 256685.
A Night of Laughter and Tears at Exmouth Pavilion takes place on Friday, March 15, with fabulous drag queen Miss Dot Com, a disco and raffle.
Tickets for the event, starting at 8pm, cost £10.50 in advance. Call 01395 222477 or visit www.ledtickets.co.uk
To donate to Ryan's appeal visit the fundraising page at www.justgiving.com/ryan-ap peal. For more details email ry email@example.com or visit www.facebook.com/ry ansappealpage