Family puts brave face on battle

Last updated 05:00 19/04/2014
Daniel Williamson
NO MORE OPTIONS: Lower Hutt toddler Daniel Williamson during his leukaemia treatment in hospital in Christchurch.

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A potentially life-saving operation for a Lower Hutt toddler has been called off, leaving no more options for treatment.

The parents of Daniel Williamson were told just before Christmas that their son had cancer.

Since then Daniel, now 16 months old, has gone through three rounds of chemotherapy. He was meant to be undergoing a bone marrow transplant at Starship children's hospital in Auckland last Monday.

Last month, his mother Caroline Williamson was "cautiously optimistic" the operation would save his life. But this week, Nicky Astwood, speaking for the family, said the cancer cells had come back strongly so the decision was made not to go ahead with the procedure.

The family was grateful for everyone's support and wished to keep to themselves now they had returned to Lower Hutt with Daniel.

"They just want to keep it close, keep it with family and enjoy their time together," Astwood said. "They have planned lots of activities and things to do [with him] and they thank everybody for their support and positivity - it just made this that much easier."

A Facebook page set up on Daniel's behalf said: "Having a transplant isn't going to work any more and there aren't any more treatment options. So we are staying home from now on.

"Mum, Dad and I are going to do lots of nice things before I feel really sick. This is a really sad time for our family. Thank you for sharing my journey and showing us love and support, it has helped a lot."

The last four months have been traumatic for the family, since Daniel was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia.

After he was rushed to a specialist child cancer facility in Christchurch, the family's Alicetown home was burgled twice. Thieves stole a car outside before coming back the next night to break into the house.

Then a web scammer set up a fake donations site, soliciting money via a United States-based service.

Finally, someone broke into their sleepout in March and stole an old stereo and speakers destined for the tip.

Throughout this a genuine donations page has been run by their friends, raising more than $15,000.

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- The Dominion Post

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