The family of a young boy who is undergoing treatment in Bristol following a bone marrow transplant say they are being sustained by the support and prayers of the community.
Ollie McCann (4), from the Richmount Road, was diagnosed with leukaemia when he was two and after treatment at the Children’s Cancer Unit in Belfast went into remission.
However, he relapsed after 18 months and was told he would need a bone marrow transplant.
Ollie’s grandmother Jennifer Cahoon, who has been raising money for the children’s cancer unit in Belfast, said her grandson, who attends Richmount Preschool Playgroup, had received bone marrow taken from the umbilical cord of a baby in France.
She said, “He got the new bone marrow just two weeks ago but we have been told he can expect to stay in hospital for a minimum of three months.
“His mum and dad (Debbie and Craig McCann) are staying with him and I am going back and forwards too. So many people are praying for him and we know that God is answering the prayers.
“Ollie himself has the smiliest face you have ever seen and he is accepting everything that he is going through.”
Before his treatment in Bristol, Jennifer organised for two of Ollie’s favourite superheroes to pay him a surprise visit at home.
Since Ollie’s diagnosis, Jennifer and the family have been raising money for the NI Children’s Cancer Unit Charity Fund. The charity is trying to raise money to build another two rooms at the relatives’ accommodation - rooms which Ollie’s family have found invaluable.
One of the latest fundraising initiatives was an all-day raffle run by Letty McCann, consultant at the Seagoe group of Slimming World, where Jennifer is a member.
The raffle, with items donated by group members, raised £1,533.73.
Said Jennifer, “I used to look after Ollie and I would bring him to Slimming World with me. Everybody there knows and loves him.”
Jennifer and her daughter are also members of Kernan Running Club, and fellow runners raised funds for the cancer unit by taking part in the recent Belfast Marathon, as did other friends.
Meanwhile, Jennifer’s niece Tara Cummings, who own a hair and make-up salon in Tandragee, raised £200 by donating the proceeds of a day of wash and blow-drys, while her nephew Alan Murphy and his partner Esther Liggett contributed £500.
The family wishes to thank everyone who has supported them and helped raise money for the charity.