BRAVE youngster Harry Coulson and his family are celebrating reaching the end of his arduous cancer treatment.

The six-year-old, from South Hetton, County Durham, has spent more than three years undergoing lifesaving treatment for Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia at Great North Children’s Hospital, in Newcastle.

During his treatment he had to endure eight months of intensive chemotherapy, two years and eight months of daily and weekly oral chemotherapies, regular doses of steroids, clinic visits, lumbar punctures, blood checks and spent 50 nights in hospital.

Parents Joanne Johnson and Mike Coulson said their world fell apart on April 6, 2018, when Harry was diagnosed with ALL.

The Northern Echo:

“When you are first told the crushing news for the first time your life stands still, and the world around you continues in slow motion. It’s hard to digest the seriousness of the situation but we had to be strong for Harry,” said Joanne.

“We are such proud parents – our little boy has endured so much, and we couldn’t be prouder. He never complains and just gets on with things.”

The Northern Echo:

Following his treatment, Harry’s parents paid tribute not just to the medics who looked after him but also the “inspirational” storytelling sessions provided by children’s cancer charity Henry Dancer Days.

The family enjoyed regular visits from the charity's storyteller Shelley O’Brien, which were online during the pandemic.

The Northern Echo:

Shelley adapted her stories to suit Harry’s taste – with favourites including Eric Carle's The Very Hungry Caterpillar and stories featuring steam trains, trams, buses and Marvel superheroes – and the family enjoyed fancy dress sessions on themes such as pirates, 1920s, trains, Paris and London.

Joanne said: “Harry and Shelley gelled straight away. It was the first time we’d all laughed as a family since Harry’s diagnosis. Our sides were splitting. Shelley was so animated bringing the story to life.

“It certainly set the precedent for the rollercoaster of fun activities and amazing times that lay ahead. I can honestly say that the Henry Dancer Days Storytelling definitely got us through our long journey.

“Storytelling has transformed Harry from being a shy and at times scared little boy into a chatty and confident youngster.”

The Northern Echo:

The sessions also helped Harry develop his vocabulary skills, as he did not qualify for hospital education because he started treatment before school age.