Oliver wins his long battle with cancer

Oliver Smith.
Oliver Smith.

Seven-year-old Oliver Smith is celebrating after kicking cancer into touch.

Oliver will undergo his final chemotherapy treatment on March 29 – almost three-and-a-half years after he was first diagnosed.

Oliver Smith, pictured in July 2012 during his treatment.

Oliver Smith, pictured in July 2012 during his treatment.

And doctors have declared he is officially cancer free.

His delighted mum Laura said: “To look at him now you wouldn’t know there was anything wrong with him.

“We’ve been told that if he was going to have a relapse, it would have come back by now.

“We count ourselves as really lucky. We have seen what he could have had and what other children have been through.

“We have seen him suffer which is the hardest thing, but we have still got him.”

Oliver, who is in Year 2 at Ellel St John’s Primary School, will celebrate with family and friends at a party next month.

Laura, who lives in Rose Grove, Galgate, said: “It will be bigger than my wedding!

“Oliver has missed a lot over the years with being poorly, so it will be nice to have this party for him.”

Oliver was diagnosed with T-cell lymphoma, a form of cancer affecting the blood cells, after falling ill on a family holiday in Majorca in 2011.

He was rushed to Manchester Children’s Hospital where he remained for three weeks, before starting a 30-week course of chemotherapy.

Two years of less intensive chemotherapy then followed.

It has been a stressful time for the whole family – mum Laura, dad Billy and Oliver’s four-year-old brother Alfie, who was just a baby when Oliver was diagnosed.

Laura, 33, said: “The drugs paralysed Oliver in the beginning. He had to learn to walk again at the same time that Alfie was learning to walk.”

Due to his damaged immune system, Oliver also contracted viral meningitis over Christmas 2013, which meant his chemo had to be put on hold.

Laura said: “He has been taking a cocktail of drugs every day for so long now that it will be the most bizarre feeling once his treatment ends.

“It’s like we’re starting a whole new life that isn’t controlled by cancer.

“Oliver doesn’t really talk about it – I think he just thinks it’s normal because it’s gone on for so long.”

There will continue to be challenges ahead for Oliver as the family don’t know yet what effects the chemotherapy will have had on his young body.

Laura has written the whole experience down since her son was first diagnosed.

She said: “It was my coping mechanism at the time. I wanted to do it in case Oliver ever asked me about it when he was older. Everything he went through is there if he ever wants to know.

“It’s been hard for Alfie too. He was only seven months old when Oliver was diagnosed, and so he was passed around to be looked after. That was so hard.

“There’s a lot in what I have written about how I felt leaving Alfie, because it was a big thing for his life too. He hasn’t known any different.”