A FIVE-year-old boy who was diagnosed with cancer has collected a bravery award.
Dean Puplett was given little chance of survival after he was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, or cancer of the nerve tissues.
But he has now been given the all clear after months of gruelling treatment.
Dean, of Mold, has just collected a Little Star Award from Cancer Research UK in recognition of his courage.
Mum Jane, 36, said: “Dean has taken the treatment in his stride as children do.
“He has gone through some horrendous treatment and we are immensely proud of him.”
Jane, originally from Preston, and husband Tony, originally from Somerset, lived in Chester and Ellesmere Port before settling in Mold.
Dean was diagnosed with cancer in April, 2010 when tests at Wrexham Maelor Hospital found two tumours in his body.
Further tests at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, Liverpool, revealed a large tumour in his tummy and a secondary tumour in the lymphatic system in his neck.
Dean underwent a 70-day course of intensive chemotherapy which rid his body of the secondary cancer and reduced the large tumour in his tummy to the size of a golf ball.
An operation to remove the last of his tumour in September, 2010 was successful.
Following this his stem cells were removed and frozen while a second six-day course of chemotherapy killed the cancerous cells.
It was when these cells were transplanted back into his body that Dean developed a life-threatening liver disease.
But he bounced back and underwent a further fortnight of radiation treatment at Clatterbridge Hospital, Merseyside, followed by a course of immunotherapy to rebuild his immune system.
He was given the all-clear last July but will be retested every three months for the next four years to ensure he remains cancer-free.
Jane and Tony, who run Flintshire Fitness Supplies in Mold, have thanked friends and family who raised money to send them on a dream holiday to Bermuda.
Jane said: “Dean was able to enjoy a lot of freedom on holiday, and it enabled us to step out of our everyday life.
“When you’re faced with an illness that could come back at any time you just have to live in the moment.”
For Christmas dinosaur-mad Dean, who wears two hearing aids after his hearing was damaged during treatment, also enjoyed a trip to Lapland with his parents and sister Eve, seven, courtesy of the Make A Wish Foundation.
Dean has now returned full-time to Ysgol Glanrafon in Mold, where Eve is also a pupil.
Jane will run the Race for Life in Wrexham on Sunday for Cancer Research UK, and has already smashed her £500 target by raising £700.
People can pledge their support at www.raceforlifesponsorme.org/ janepuplett