A SCHOOLBOY who is battling cancer is preparing to undergo a life-saving operation.
Robbie Young is heading to the children’s cancer unit, today, where he will be given a bone marrow transplant.
The 11-year-old was diagnosed with non-hodgkins lymphoma - a cancer of the lymphatic system - last year.
The operation comes less than two days after the South Shields Community School pupil, from Copley Avenue, South Shields, was named as a Child of Courage at the Pride of South Tyneside awards held on Sunday.
Earlier that day, he had joined family and friends on a charity walk, from Sunderland to South Shields, to raise more than £5,000 for the unit at Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Hospital which is helping to save his life.
Following the operation Robbie will be kept in a sealed “bubble” with only his parents and one other allowed contact.
His mum Trisha Oley said: “It is going to be really hard after the operation. We have been told he will be kept in isolation for at least six weeks or it could be three months.
“We have all been really nervous for this day and it is going to be hard but it is something that has to be done.
“But we have had some good days leading up to this. The charity walk was amazing and everyone had a brilliant day.
“And then Robbie winning the award on the night time just really made it for us.
“We went out, last night, with all the family so he could show them all his award. These past few days have been overwhelming for me.
“I am just so proud of Robbie and what he has done - despite everything he has gone through.”
About 80 children of all ages develop the disease in the UK each year and it is more common in boys than girls. The causes of NHL are largely unknown.