It all started with a pin prick rash

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Rian’s journey with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia began in June 2016, just after he turned one. It all began when we spotted a pinprick rash on the back of his legs. Three years after, he’s finally finished treatment and his family reflects on their experience with childhood cancer.

A purple pin prick rash pointed to a more serious issue

One day when I was changing Rian’s nappy, I lifted the back of his legs and found a purple pin prick rash, as well as a couple of rashes on his chest. I thought he had meningitis and my heart sank.

My mum came over to look after my two other sons – Riza and Riko – whilst my dad and I took Rian to the doctor who sent us straight to the hospital for tests.

An hour later, we were called in by the doctor who looked concerned, which frightened me. He told us that Rian’s liver and spleen were enlarged and that they suspected he had blood cancer.

I went numb when I heard those words and I sat crying with my dad. I would have taken Rian’s place in a heartbeat. I didn’t want to see my son suffer.

boys in matching jumper

Treatment began immediately

We started treatment immediately and spent 6 weeks in hospital, where Rian had a Hickman line fitted after he suffered terrible infections from failed ports. He had numerous lumbar punctures, steroid treatment and chemotherapy which made him exhausted and unwell.

It’s the most awful experience, watching your baby boy in pain and knowing that there is nothing you can do. Rian however, would watch me and smile and take comfort in my presence.

boy on hospital bed

Looking forward to the end of treatment

Rian is due to finish his chemotherapy at the end of August and his line will be removed at the beginning of September. I am so proud of Rian and cannot thank the hospital staff and my family enough for all their support during this difficult time.

End of Treatment Bells are placed into hospitals for children and adults with cancer to ring after their gruelling treatment.

boy superhero costume

How you can help

If you’ve been touched by Rian’s journey, help us invest in the high quality research that really matters which would otherwise go unfunded.

This helps to support children with cancer so they can be with their families for longer.

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Have you or a family member been affected by childhood cancer?

Many of our supporters have been affected by childhood cancer – either through family, friends or their own personal experience. These patient stories can help inspire others to get involved with us, or can support our media work.

If you have a story that you would like to tell, please contact us by email.


Three years after Rian started treatment, he finally rang the End of Treatment Bell. On the day, the family reflect on their experience with childhood cancer and the importance on sticking together as a family.

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