Published: 15/04/2017 17:00 - Updated: 14/04/2017 12:12

Six-year-old Black Isle boy still smiling despite cancer diagnosis

Written byNeil MacPhail

Thanks to CLIC Sargent, the family got to stay in Glasgow when Daniel received treatment recently.
Thanks to CLIC Sargent, the family got to stay in Glasgow when Daniel received treatment recently.

A CANCER-hit boy’s devoted parents have launched a fundraising campaign to show their seriously ill son the tremendous support he has in his long fight.

Alison and Kevin Gallacher from Culbokie also started the online appeal on behalf of children’s cancer charity CLIC Sargent in appreciation of its invaluable help in six-year-old Daniel’s ongoing battle.

Daniel, who like his father is a massive Celtic fan, celebrated their team winning the league title earlier this month, but now has to face more intensive chemotherapy treatment in Glasgow.

His justgiving page shows a proud Daniel holding a team photo sent to him by goalkeeper Craig Gordon, whose parents are near neighbours of Alison’s parents in Edinburgh.

It was just before Christmas that the Gallachers’ lives were turned upside down when Daniel, their elder son, was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL).

Mrs Gallacher (37), who ironically works as a doctor in cancer wards at Raigmore Hospital, said: “At the beginning of his journey he was feeling very unwell, in addition to being petrified of the numerous medical investigations he had to endure including blood tests, bone marrow biopsies, lumbar punctures, as well as intravenous, spinal and tablet chemotherapy and having to spend Christmas in hospital.

“Daniel is facing three years of chemotherapy and has to have a large proportion of the first six months of treatment in Glasgow – 170 miles from home.

“We wanted to show him how much love and support there is for him and to say a big thank you to CLIC Sargent. It was able to provide a free ‘home from home’ in Glasgow, for families of children being treated for cancer. This is truly an invaluable resource. We had this room for eight weeks allowing us all, including Daniel’s wee brother four-year-old Conor, to be together as much as possible, especially on Christmas morning.

“At times such as this the importance of having a ‘space’ where our family can be together cannot be underestimated.”

She added: “He is tremendously brave. It can be a very lonely place when your pals are all out playing.

“His school in Culbokie could not have been more supportive and it has a fundraising team entering the Inverness 10k. They send him video messages and his homework is sent to me to help him keep up with the rest of the class.

“The community in Culbokie and Inverness are all showing tremendous support.

“I never imagined being in this position where I was a doctor dealing with cancer and someone so close to me becomes affected. It was a difficult position to be in at times.

“There are actually relatives of patients I have cared for sending their love and donations.”

She added that her husband, a 43-year-old civil engineer with Robertson, was quickly picking up much medical knowledge from her.

Mrs Gallacher said that from the outset Daniel had had the “most amazing” medical support.

He is now entering a vital and intensive two-month treatment phase back in Glasgow because if he picks up a simple bug, he has to spend 24 hours on antibiotics.

It is only three weeks since the appeal kicked off and the Daniel Gallacher fund has reached £1250, while the similar Team Gallacher fund running alongside has reached £3057.

Mrs Gallacher said her son was “football daft” and used to play for Culbokie Primary and train with Ross County’s community team in Dingwall on Tuesday nights. The Staggies sent him their best wishes and a signed football after hearing about his illness.

A spokesman for CLIC Sargent said: “When cancer strikes young lives, CLIC Sargent helps families limit the damage cancer causes beyond their health. Today, 11 more children and young people will hear the devastating news that they have cancer.

“From diagnosis, CLIC Sargent’s specialist care teams will step in, ready to help, support and guide. CLIC Sargent will fight tirelessly for them, individually, locally and nationally, so that they can focus on the important things.”

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