Sunderland boy, 6, cancer free after 'bombshell' Christmas Eve diagnosis

  • Watch Tom Barton's report

A six-year-old boy is looking forward to celebrating Christmas cancer-free after being diagnosed with leukaemia a year ago.

Gray Crone, from Sunderland, was diagnosed with the blood cancer on Christmas Eve after attending A&E with what his parents thought was a chest infection.

After receiving the bombshell news that he had acute myeloid leukaemia, the family spent Christmas on the cancer ward at Newcastle's Royal Victoria Infirmary (RVI).

Twelve months later, Gray is looking forward to a more normal Christmas.

"I'm really excited," he told ITV Tyne Tees. "It's 100% better than last year."

The youngster, who is a pupil at St John Bosco Catholic Primary School, has been given a bravery award by Cancer Research UK for how he dealt with his treatment.

Gray was awarded a bravery star for his bravery during his treatment. Credit: Cancer Research UK

After starting chemotherapy on 28 December last year, he completed his last round on 29 April and rang the end of treatment bell on June. He is now cancer free but has blood tests every two months.

His mum Danielle Crone, 38, said last year was the "worst Christmas" after the family discovered Gray was seriously ill.

She said: "Christmas is the best time of the year. It's my favourite time of the year. Everything was sorted, then it was a bombshell, an absolute bombshell."

She added: "It was devastating, absolutely devastating. To be given a diagnosis at any time but on Christmas Eve - it was the worst Christmas we'd ever ever had.

"So for this Christmas, we just cannot wait."

"The lead up to Christmas this year has been amazing. The worry is still there and will be constantly in the back of my mind. We just have to try and move on and enjoy all the Christmas's to come."

Gray got to ring the end of treatment bell in June. Credit: Cancer Research UK

Lisa Millett, Cancer Research UK spokesperson for the North East, said: “Gray is a real star who has been through so much at such a young age. It is an absolute privilege to celebrate his courage with a Star Award.

“Cancer in children and young people is different to cancer in adults, from the types of cancer to the impact of treatment - and many youngsters may experience serious long-term side effects. That’s why we’re supporting dedicated research to ensure more children and young people survive cancer with a good quality of life.

“We’re urging people to nominate inspirational children like Gray for a Star Award now, so that many more affected by this devastating disease can receive the acknowledgement they so richly deserve.”

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