It’s going to be a special Christmas for four-year-old Oscar Dustan as he continues his recovery six months on from a bone marrow transplant.
The brave little boy, who was diagnosed with leukaemia in the summer of last year, had a relapse in September but his health has now stabilised to the point where he may be able to start pre-school in January.
And Oscar was overjoyed when his family took him on a rare trip out to see Santa Claus before surprising him with a visit from his hero Spider-Man for his birthday, which he celebrated on Friday.
Dad Ryan said: “Oscar’s latest check-up showed he has been cancer-free now for six months which is amazing.
“The high risk period is six months to a year after the transplant and it will be two-and-a-half years before he can get the all-clear.
“But he’s doing well after his recent relapse and he is really looking forward to Christmas.”
Because of his condition, Oscar has to live in an extremely sanitised environment in the family home at Asfordby and he has to avoid being among crowds of people.
So the Dustans were indebted to staff at Gates Nurseries Garden Centre, at Cold Overton, for opening their grotto an hour early so he could visit.
Oscar was accompanied by his dad, mum Tania and his two-year-old sister Anna-May to meet Santa and his elves.
Ryan said: “It was lovely to see Oscar’s face when he met Father Christmas. It brought a lump to my throat to see him so happy. We’re so grateful to the staff there for opening up the grotto early for us.“
It’s an exciting week for Oscar with Christmas following his birthday celebrations on Friday.
Because of his health he was only allowed three friends at his party and they could only visit at separate times.
As part of his birthday celebrations Oscar, who was a joint winner of the Child of Courage award in this year’s Melton Times Community Awards, had a huge surprise on Saturday when his beloved Spider-Man paid him a visit.
This all follows on from Oscar’s appearance on national television in ITV’s ‘Text Santa’, on which he and Ryan were promoting the CLIC Sargent charity, which cares for children with cancer and supports families who are affected.
The Dustan family have raised hundreds of pounds for the cause and were collecting again at a stall in Melton last week.
They are grateful for all the help the charity has given them as Oscar went through an intense programme of chemotherapy treatment and spent long spells in hospital beds in Sheffield and Nottingham. He still has to travel to Sheffield Hospital once a week for a health check.
Ryan said: “Oscar is so used to his weekly check-up now that he goes in the room himself to do it and we wait outside.
“He lives in quarantined conditions but we are all used to it now - it becomes second nature.”
The family are looking forward to celebrating Christmas tomorrow after another tough year.
Ryan added: “Oscar can’t wait and he knows what he wants from Santa!”