Boy cured of leukaemia aims to repay his debt of gratitude

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A SCHOOLBOY with leukaemia is aiming to raise a huge £250,000 for charity, to pay back his treatment costs ,after a bone marrow transplant from an anonymous donor helped save his life.

Andrew Davies, 14, fell ill in September last year after suffering a number of minor infections and a sore throat.

He suffered an unusual reaction to antibiotics and, after visiting his GP, a blood test showed there was something seriously wrong.

Andrew, from Chesterfield, was then referred to Professor Ajay Vora at The Children’s Hospital in Sheffield, where just a day-and-a-half later he was having chemotherapy to stop the disease.

Four months on, he needed a bone marrow transplant, a gift which came from a woman donor who has now anonymously exchanged letters with him.

Andrew said: “I think it’s just what I need to do, because they saved my life.

“It’s just amazing that someone would do what my donor did. We got the letter from her saying she’d recovered fine and that’s made me feel so much better about it. She wasn’t ill because of me.

“Now I’m just trying to carry on with sports and get my fitness back.

“In the future I’m going to do a big mountain challenge – possibly Kilimanjaro – because if I want to raise my target sometimes I’ll have to do more.”

Andrew’s father Paul Davies said: “When we first learned Andrew needed a transplant it was a shock.

“We’d hoped the chemo would be enough and hoped he wouldn’t need a transplant. But then knowing a clearly-matched donor could be found was a great relief.

“We know his treatment cost around a quarter of a million and he says he’s not going to stop fund-raising until he’s got it all back. The treatment was free on the NHS, which is fantastic, but he’s determined to do his bit for The Children’s Hospital Charity. We’ve warned him it’s a lot of money!

“Amazing support from friends and family have helped Andrew raise £11,000 so far.”

Prof Vora, one of the UK’s top experts in haematology and bone marrow transplant, added: “Andrew is a great character and a wonderful boy.”