Young leukaemia patient’s message of hope to other sufferers

Erin Buyers was diagnosed with leukaemia and is now on the road to recovery. Mother and father Lois and Andy Buyers
Erin Buyers was diagnosed with leukaemia and is now on the road to recovery. Mother and father Lois and Andy Buyers

A BRAVE teenager who is on the road to recovery after battling leukaemia is urging others with the condition to never give up.

Erin Buyers was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia in March after tests revealed she was suffering from the blood cancer when she failed to recover from what was thought to be glandular fever.

Ten months on, the 13-year-old, from Harton House Road, South Shields, is continuing to fight her way back to health after being told by doctors the cancer is now no longer present.

Already, the Harton Technology College pupil has gone back to the classroom and is also making a return to hip hop dance classes run by J’n’K School of Dance.

Erin says others diagnosed with the illness should “always stay positive.”

She said: “Being positive does make it easier. It has been tough at times, but you will get through it. Just don’t give up.”

Her proud parents, Andy and Lois Buyers, say the past 10 months have been a constant stream of hospital appointments and worry as they watched their youngest daughter bravely embark on the battle of her life.

Mr Buyers said: “When Erin was diagnosed it was hard. Even now, it’s like what has happened has happened to someone else. We are just both so incredibly proud of Erin. We really can’t say anything more than that.

“She has dealt with everything incredibly. She is just really brave.”

Erin, who has an older sister Cara, 16, had been originally diagnosed with glandular fever when she first fell ill in November 2013.

As her condition worsened, she was taken back to the doctors where she was sent for blood tests at Sunderland Royal Hospital.

Mr Buyers added: “By the time she was sent for blood tests, she could hardly walk and had to be carried in and out of the car.

“When the results came back she was sent straight to the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle. She was diagnosed with leukaemia on March 3 last year.”
 Erin underwent chemotherapy and blood transfusions but, because of a range of side effects including chest infections, the treatment took longer than the usual six months.

It also meant Erin had longer stays in hospital.

Mrs Buyers added: “She took everything in her stride. She had lovely long hair and, when she was told she would lose it, she had it cut into a short bob.

“When we got home, she told me to shave it all off. It was hard to see her having her head shaven but she didn’t want to wait for it falling out.

“We are just very, very proud of how she has handled the whole thing and all the side effects.

“She has stayed positive throughout and has always had a smile on her face.”

Erin still has to undergo treatment for the next 18 months to prevent the leukaemia from returning.

Erin was recently asked to receive a cheque from Westoe Brass Band after they raised £1,300 for the Teenage Cancer Trust by holding collections during their performances.

Erin Forrest, from the North East Fundraising Board of the Teenage Cancer Trust said: “I’d just like to thank Westoe Brass Band for this donation as it means such a lot to the Trust.

“It will help us to continue to deliver the services we are able to offer to teenagers who have been diagnosed with cancer.”