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Dedicated Mold family need to raise £500,000 which could save Dean’s life

TWO years ago brave little Dean Puplett was diagnosed with an agressive form of cancer and given a 20% chance of survival – he fought back and is now in remission but his family desperately need to raise £500,000 which one day may save his life.

Dean, five, was diagnosed with neuroblastoma Stage IV high risk – a cancer which affects about 100 children in the UK each year – in April 2010 when he was just three-and-a-half years old.

The news devastated Dean’s family and his parents Jane, 37, and Tony, 41, who run Flintshire Fitness Supplies in Mold were told there was a slim chance he would survive.

Mum Jane said: “Dean was given only a 20% chance of survival, at diagnosis. As if this wasn’t bad enough when Dean went for his first chemotherapy session, we were told his prognosis had worsened, as they discovered the cancer in some of his bones.

“Since that day Dean has defied the odds set against him.

“During 14 months of treatment. He endured intense chemotherapy, a six-hour operation to remove the primary tumour from his adrenal gland, stem cell harvest and transplant where he contracted a life threatening liver disease, radiotherapy and anti-body treatment apart from countless blood and platelet transfusions, alongside numerous biopsies, scans and tests.

“During his treatment there have been very dangerous times and on several occasions we were told there was no guarantee on his survival.”

The youngster who goes to Ysgol Glanrafon, where big sister Eve, seven, is also a pupil, has been cancer free since June last year.

Tragically there is an 80% chance that Dean will have a relapse so his family has launched a massive fundraising campaign to pay for treatment should the cancer return.

Jane added: “Even though he is cancer free at the moment we live in fear as the chances of Dean having a relapse at any age is far greater than staying cancer free. We feel that we need to be prepared for the future.

“We have set up this fund as there is currently no curative treatment available in the UK for relapsed Neuroblastoma. We need to be able to give Dean a chance to survive and be able to go overseas for the right treatment if the situation arose.

“Treatment options abroad are generally in America and Germany where treatment costs can be as much as £500,000.”

Dean, who wears two hearing aids after treatment permanently damaged his hearing, has been left with mobility problems and has had to learn how to eat again after spending nine months being fed by a tube.

But Jane says he is coping with the situation well.

“He is running around like all his school friends. He enjoys life and is a right handful at times, like any five-year-old.

“He loves school, is very sociable and loves to play. Just to see him running around, so full of life now, is truly amazing and inspiring for us to see,” she said. “His sister asks me if Dean is going to die – that’s a very difficult question to answer.”

The family – who are being supported by the charity Families Against Neuroblastoma – have now launched a fundraising campaign and are planning a number of events.

So far they have raised £301 towards their total and hope the public will dig deep in their pockets to help.

Jane added: “We hope any individuals, organisations or businesses who can help by making a donation to give Dean a chance will come forward.

“Every penny could give Dean the opportunity to grow up like his friends.”