Sharon, Dan's mother, shares his story
In about March 2006 he started to walk funny, as though he had some sort of limp, but when you asked him about it he said that it didn’t hurt and that it just did it. There was nothing visible on his leg so I just left it and just put it down to him being a teenager.
At the beginning of June he complained that it was hurting and that his chest was also. Looking at his right leg, it was slightly larger from the knee to his ankle than his left leg, so I took him to the doctors. It ended up being Ewing sarcoma, one in his right leg and loads in his chest. By the time Dan went to meet his consultant to discuss treatment Dan was ill. He was admitted to hospital where an x-ray revealed his right lung was full of fluid, 2 days later so was the left, so a chest drain was fitted. Dan spent 3 months in hospital, 2 months of which he was dependent on oxygen. He ended up with 3 chest drains, numerous visits to intensive care. Quite a few times Dan came close to death, but each time, to everyone's surprise he kept pulling through, he kept on fighting, even taking whatever medication was given to him. In October Dan was able to come home at last and just had to go back to hospital for chemo. Dan had lost the ability to walk after being so ill, so was now having to use a wheelchair.
In December we were told that Dan couldn't have the operation to remove his bone and tumour, that it would have to be amputation, although they said they'd try radiotherapy to his leg in case there was a chance to save it. Dan started his radiotherapy at the beginning of January. Also at the beginning of January we found out that the chemo wasn't working. Dan's tumours were getting bigger and he had new ones also. On the 10th of January we found out that Dan had 2 large tumours at the back of his brain and that he couldn't be cured, but he could have some more chemo to give him longer. 2 days later I went into labour and gave birth to a little girl. Dan continued radiotherapy to his leg and had 2 more lots of chemo, although the last chemo he had set him off having seizures.
It was then decided that no more treatment would be given to Dan, so I fetched him home. Dan finally lost his brave battle and died 2 weeks later on 16th February 2007.
In the last couple of weeks of Dan's life he went shopping a few times, always buying things for other people. The day before Dan died his consultant came to see him and when he asked Dan if there was anything he wanted to ask, all Dan asked for was if he could get an apnea monitor for his baby sister as she had stopped breathing the night before and was in hospital. Dan never once asked for anything for himself. One of the last things Dan said before he died was that he wanted to send 1 of his milkshakes to his consultant as a thank you present (because of what was happening in Dan's brain he had this thing about milkshakes). All through Dan's illness he never complained and always thought of other people instead of himself. He went to the coast for the day and won lots of teddy bears, took them back to the ward and handed them out to the nurses. Another time it was key rings and he gave them out to other patients. Or he was handing out his Milky Ways to the little ones on the kids ward. That was Dan all over, he always put other people first even when he should have been concentrating on himself. Daniel died 7 months after diagnosis. He was a very brave special boy, who I will miss terribly everyday for the rest of my life.