THE EXPERIENCES of a boy from Accrington who beat leukaemia have been used to inspire other young cancer sufferers.
Rieli Biggins, nine, underwent three years of chemotherapy to help overcome the acute lymphoblastic leukaemia he was diagnosed with at the age of three.
His bravery has been highlighted by the Faces of Ward 84 website, which tells the stories of those treated on Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital’s oncology and haematology ward.
Rieli, who lives with his family in Oakdene Avenue, Huncoat, spent time on the ward after being diagnosed with swine flu during his cancer treatment.
His mum, Jade Flood, 26, said the Peel Park Primary School pupil was now back to full health and behaving like ‘a typical lad’.
Miss Flood, a carer, said: “Everything is finally fine. He’s in remission and finished his last treatment exactly three years ago. For the last three years he’s had check-ups to make sure nothing has come back. Now he does everything a nine-year-old boy should do.
“He’s not brilliant at sport because the chemotherapy left him with weak joints, but he plays football anyway. He is so happy and lively.”
Rieli, in year four at school, lives with his mum, dad Lee Biggins, 26, a refrigeration engineer, and sisters Lexia, five, and Emmi, two.
Miss Flood said Rieli was now aware of how seriously ill he once was, and was glad his story was being used to inspire others. She said: “He’s one of the best in his year at school and his reading ability is that of a year six or seven. He’s just brilliant.
“He can be a bit naughty, especially when he’s winding up his sisters, but I’d rather he was naughty than not here at all.
“At school when all the kids had to stand up and talk about themselves, he spoke about when he was ill and came home crying, but it just shows that the children on that ward can make a full recovery.”