Health

Tuesday 23 September 2014

Ryan Healy Nolan (5) is now four years in remission

'As the parent of a child with cancer, you have to put your faith in medicine. Every week something new is being developed'

Ryan Healy Nolan is now four years in remission. Photo: Pat Moore
Brave Ryan Healy Nolan with dad Harry and mum Gillian. Photo: Pat Moore

'Ryan was just 11 months old when he was diagnosed with hepatoblastoma, a rare liver cancer that usually affects children under five. When your child is diagnosed with cancer, it's absolutely devastating. All you can do is take it day by day and try to stay positive.

At one stage, Ryan was on three different types of chemo and was really, really sick. If I could have taken his place, I would have in a second.

Unlike an adult, who might think 'I can't do this', though, he didn't know any different. He was just so resilient. Even when he was hooked up to all these drips, he still sat up in his cot and played with his toys.

Today Ryan is four years in remission and is getting on great. He's only just started asking questions about why he has a big scar and has to take all this medicine.

Ryan will be on anti-rejection medication for the rest of his life, and has suffered some side effects from the chemo. But we still consider ourselves very lucky because there was light at the end of the tunnel.

As the parent of a child with cancer, you have to put your faith in medicine. Every week something new is being developed.

Even since we were there four years ago, (cancer treatment) has become more advanced.

There's always hope."

 

'These are exciting times for cancer treatment but there's still a long way to go'

 

Secondary school student Mariosa Grace Churchard (16) on chemo

 

Retired bank manager John Murray (61) from Westmeath

 

 

 

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