Ryan Reynolds shows support for Gateshead six-year-old Leland as he undergoes stem cell transplant

ITN shots
Leland is due to have a stem cell transplant today. A campaign to find a donor went viral last year after Hollywood star Ryan Reynolds tweeted his support. Credit: ITN

The six-year-old who captured the region's hearts when his campaign for a stem cell match went viral is due to undergo the treatment today.

Leland, from Gateshead, has been undergoing chemotherapy in preparation for the transplant, which is scheduled to take place on Wednesday 25 January.

The football-mad youngster, who was diagnosed with pre-leukaemia in September, has been sent messages of support while he is hospital, including from Hollywood star Ryan Reynolds.

Reynolds became aware of Leland's story when his football club Wrexham FC played Blyth Spartans last year.

When he sent Leland a video message to support the search to find a stem cell match, there was a surge in the number of people signing up to the register.

While Leland has been in hospital for treatment ahead of the transplant, he has been wearing a special "Reynolds" Wrexham shirt, given to him by Blyth footballer JJ O'Donnell, who championed his cause.

He has put up pictures of some of his favourite characters, including Deadpool - who is played by Reynolds.

She has been sharing updates of Leland's treatment on social media. On Tuesday 24 January, she said: "It's been a bit of a rough week for Leland, with all his intense chemo now done to kill off his immune system His little body is ready for his stem cell transplant on Wednesday. Wish him luck."

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