Wayne Rooney gave my football-mad son the courage to battle cancer
A schoolboy has battled back from leukaemia with help from his Manchester United heroes Wayney Rooney and Michael Owen.
Callum Rose, 12, was cheered up by a hospital visit from the Premier League footballers who gave him the extra push he needed to get better.
He has now learning to walk again, after being wheel-chair bound for months.
Boost: Callum has battled back from a rare form of leukaemia after meeting his footballing idol Wayne Rooney
His mother Joanne, 32, said: “We are all excited about the New Year and Callum is so much better. We still have a long way to go, but Callumis an inspiration.
“He loved meeting the United players – and to me he”severy bit as much of a champion as they are.”
Callum, from Salford, has already coped with many obstacles in his life as he is autistic.
But the young Reds fan faced his biggest battle when he was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia. Just weeks into his chemotherapy treatment, his kidneys failed and he was admitted to intensive care at the Royal Manchester Children”s Hospital.
Recovery: Callum has learned to walk again to the delight of his mother
The youngster then suffered a stomach bleed and developed swine flu – leaving him seriously ill.
However, after a tough year and inspiration from Rooney and Owen last Christmas the youngster has managed to overcome his problems and learned how to walk again.
Although he still uses a wheelchair but is getting stronger every day and is now receiving “maintenance” chemotherapy.
Joanne said: “We were in real shock for weeks following Callum”s diagnosis.
“Last Christmas was fairly awful as he had been so gravely ill and couldn”t even sit up properly to open his presents. But 12 months on, we are feeling so much more optimistic.”
Callum, who is an only child, developed a pain in his hip last summer, which was initially thought to have been caused by a viral infection.
But the pain did not go away and tests were carried out in case Callum had developed arthritis. Blood tests revealed he had acute lymphoblastic leukaemia and he was admitted to the children”s hospital last October.
Christmas cheer: Callum”s (pictured with Michael Owen) future is far brighter than it was a year ago
He spent the next six weeks in hospital receiving intensive chemotherapy treatment – and then was struck down by a series of complications.
Callum was awarded a Cancer Research UK Little Star award for his bravery after being nominated by his family and friends.
Jane Bullock, of Cancer Research UK, said: “Callum has already faced so many hurdles in his life due to his autism, but he has amazed everyone with his courage in coping with the leukaemia treatment and is truly deserving of the Little Star award.”