Eight-year-old Lucas McLean was told he had a 20% chance of survival after his leukaemia relapse. Thankfully, he’s now stronger than ever and, with some brand-new LEGO from Satan’s Little Helper, is making up for lost time.
Melanie was told her son Lucas would start his treatment in four-week increments. Those weeks slowly turned into months, before turning into three-and-a-half agonising years.
Finally, she was told that Lucas was in remission from his T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukaemia.
“His diagnosis was pretty devastating for us all. Lucas was only two and I was a mum on my own with two kiddies. His older sister Ruby had to go live with her dad, because I had to be at Starship with Lucas, which was hard on all of us because we didn’t know how long we’d be separated for.”
It was hell for the family, but there was one silver lining.
“I met my husband Sean during that time,” explains Melanie. “I wasn’t looking for a relationship, because I had enough on my plate, but the world moves in mysterious ways!”
Melanie and Sean got married in October 2020, but in July 2022 he relapsed.
“It’s still a shock to think about it. He was in remission and blood tests were unable to detect and leukemic cells. It was heartbreaking.”
Her son was given a 20% chance of survival. The only way to beat it again was via a bone marrow transplant. Before that could happen, the existing marrow had to be ‘exterminated’, which involved lots of chemo to kill off old blood cells.
“The chemo made him vomit so much that his stomach acid burned his gut, throat and left the inside of his mouth full of ulcers. He ended up on morphine, ketamine and fentanyl and was almost admitted into Paediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) because he was in so much pain. It was brutal!”
Thankfully, Lucas beat the odds and was released from hospital three months early. However, he still needs to be kept inside from time to time because he is more susceptible to illness.
That’s why Satan’s Little Helper sent a couple of LEGO sets to help him pass the time when he’s in isolation.
“The LEGO helps to keep the boredom away. He likes to work with his hands and he’s always building.”
The sets have been good for Lucas mentally and socially.
“It’s been a lovely way for Lucas and his dad Sean to bond, as they both enjoying building things. At home his friends will visit and they’ll all build things together and chat.
“It really has given him a way to interact with them on a level playing field. Physically, he’s a lot weaker than his friends and he’s not at the stage where he can go outside and ride a bike, but he can sit and play LEGO with them.
“He also likes to play with his big sister, which is an amazing way for them to spend time together.”