Ballyclare boy Ross Patterson has celebrated being in remission from leukaemia with a Valentine’s day party on the anniversary of his diagnosis.
The party at Larne’s Linn Community centre was almost a year to the day from Ross’s diagnosis of Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia on Thursday February 13 2014.
The celebration was particularly special as it also marked the fifth birthday of his cousin and best friend Robbie Douglas from Larne.
The event was also the first children’s party that Ross, 5, had been permitted to attend since his diagnosis after his immune system was weakened by chemotherapy.
Ross’ mum Claire Patterson told The Times that to see her son enjoying himself on the first anniversary of his diagnosis was “a miracle.”
She revealed: “I would never have thought it would have turned out so well, it’s amazing. At the time it was devastating news.
“However, we don’t want to get complacent; he still goes to hospital every two weeks for tests and he has two years of chemotherapy left.”
Ross, who has been named “Ballyclare’s superhero” on social media, was particularly pleased to meet his idol Spiderman at the party.
Claire continued: “The kids listened to his every word and he showed them how to move like Spiderman, which they loved, before he had to go off and fight crime.
“They also enjoyed a bouncy castle and bouncy castle assault course. It was still a controlled environment as we knew the other kids and that they weren’t sick. Otherwise he wouldn’t have been able to go as his immune system is still weak.”
Ross has now returned to Ballynure Primary School where he has rejoined his P2 classmates.
The Patterson family and their friends have raised over £20,000 for Clic Sargent and the Children’s Cancer Unit Fund. They have also held two blood donation drives in Ross’ name, with a third planned for later this year.
Claire says that the young family is now taking time to reflect and appreciate life. However, she says that it has made her family stronger. She commented: “It’s the four of us against the world.”