‘My heart just bursts with pride for him’: Brave Drew is thinking of others while battling leukaemia

Drew Broderick, 10, is going through treatment for leukaemia but still putting others before himself by raising cash for local charities.
Drew Broderick, 10, is going through treatment for leukaemia but still putting others before himself by raising cash for local charities.

A brave schoolboy from South Shields is putting others first – despite fighting his own battle with leukaemia.

Drew Broderick, 10, was given the devastating news that he has the disease, which suppresses the production of normal blood cells, in September.

Drew Broderick misses playing football for his team the Whiteleas Pumas.

Drew Broderick misses playing football for his team the Whiteleas Pumas.

But since then, mum Kerry Oates, from Harton, South Shields, says he’s kept a positive attitude and strived to help others.

After a spell in hospital he began his fundraising efforts after his siblings and friends started sharing the hashtag, #TeamDrew.

Kerry, 41, said: “The kids started writing it on their arms to show their support then someone suggested we make wristbands to sell and raise money.

“I asked Drew about it and he said we could make them but he didn’t want the money and that it should go to someone else.

“My heart just bursts with pride for him. He could have taken the money and all those games for himself but he just said he didn’t need them and someone else should have them.

Kerry Oates, Drew’s mum

“People were buying him Xbox games and everything and he just said he didn’t need them and would give them to the children’s ward at the hospital or sell them and give the money to the hospital instead.”

Drew has gone on to raise cash for local charities such as Alex’s Angels Foundation, The Charlie Cookson Foundation and Caring For Kian.

Kerry said: “My heart just bursts with pride for him. He could have taken the money and all those games for himself, but he just said he didn’t need them and someone else should have them.

“He just makes me so proud. I just really want to thank everyone who has supported us through all this.”

Drew Broderick with mum Kerry Oates, and brother and sister Kai and Eden Broderick.

Drew Broderick with mum Kerry Oates, and brother and sister Kai and Eden Broderick.

Kerry said Drew, a pupil at Ashley Primary School pupil, who is little brother to Eden, 13, and Kai, 16, initially struggled with his diagnosis.

Kerry, 41, from Harton, said: “When the doctor first told him he had leukaemia he didn’t really understand what it was. It wasn’t until a specialist at the Royal Victoria Infirmary explained it to him that he really knew what it was, and he just burst out crying.

“It was awful to see him go through that and he really did find it hard for the first couple of weeks, but then his attitude just changed and he started telling me that no matter how bad he felt, there was always somebody worse off than him.”

Drew had began feeling poorly about three weeks before he was diagnosed.

Drew Broderick with Sunderland AFC team members when they visitied the Royal Victoria Infirmary, in Newcastle, at Christmas.

Drew Broderick with Sunderland AFC team members when they visitied the Royal Victoria Infirmary, in Newcastle, at Christmas.

His mum had even rushed him to South Tyneside District Hospital’s A&E one day thinking his appendix was about to burst.

She said: “He was doubled over in pain and I thought he had appendicitis. I took him to A&E and they did blood tests and scans but said there was nothing wrong and sent us home.

“The whole week after that he was just really tired. He absolutely loves football, he played for the Whiteleas Pumas and used to be kicking a ball the second he woke up, but he didn’t even want to go to practice.

“I took him back to see a doctor and they did more tests. They asked us to go in a room and told us it was leukaemia. After the blood tests, they told us it was nothing like cancer. We knew something was wrong but I’d put anything like that out of my mind, but it turns out it doesn’t show up in some tests.

“I was just in shock and couldn’t believe it.”

Drew has been having chemotherapy treatment every week since then and will continue to have it until January 2019.

Kerry said: “He’ll drop down to monthly sessions in two or three months, but he has to have them for three-and-a-half years all together.

“He’s just been brilliant though and he’s so positive. Even if he’s having a bad day, he always says there’s someone outthere who is worse off than him.

“He’s even been going to school as much as he can and he’s a bright lad so he hasn’t fallen too far behind. I am a bit worried though because it was his SATs this year.”

During his stay in hospital, Drew even got to meet members from his favourite team Sunderland when they called into the ward over Christmas, and is due to be a mascot for them in May.