Christmas Wish Appeal 2012: Harry off to Legoland

Swindon Advertiser: Harry Kemp has been given a trip to Legoland Buy this photo » Harry Kemp has been given a trip to Legoland

BRAVE Harry Kemp and his family have had to begin rebuilding their life since receiving the shattering news that the 11-year-old had leukaemia.

But now back at his Rodbourne Cheney home after his second bout of chemotherapy at John Radcliffe Children’s Hospital, in Oxford, Harry is determined not to let it beat him.

“It’s quite annoying,” the huge Swindon Town fan said of his ill health.

“I cannot do much – but I don’t mind not having to go to school.”

Also a fan of all things Lego, Harry will go to his favourite place of all – Legoland – after being nominated for a Christmas Wish by family friend Pamela Durston.

He beamed as he unravelled the letter explaining his much-deserved treat and mum Emma and dad Paul were delighted with the gesture.

Charity worker Emma, 39, said the family’s life had been turned upside down since Harry was unexpectedly diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia on October 31 this year, after more than eight visits to their GP and even a trip to Great Western Hospital for an ear infection that would not clear up.

Finally a visit to Specsavers, who noticed a lump behind his eye, led to an urgent trip to Oxford.

“They noticed the swelling behind his eye and said we should go straight to the hospital,” Emma said.

“When we got to A&E he was seen by the optician and after CT and MRI scans they said ‘can you go straight to Oxford?’ We came home, grabbed some clothes and went straight away.

“We were devastated by the news – all you can think is you would prefer to be ill rather than your own child.”

Since starting chemo, Harry has suffered side effects, including neutropenia, which means he has no immune system and as such cannot go out in public or be in large crowds.

It has temporarily put an end to his football career and being able to enjoy days out, but he said he cannot wait to finish the chemotherapy and go to Legoland with mum, dad and big sister Jess, 14.

“I’d like to live there,” Harry said.

“I’ve been three times before but it’s brilliant to get this. My favourite bits are the rollercoasters and I can’t wait to go now. I will have to give Pam a big hug.”

For now though the family are concentrating on getting Christmas out of the way amid more chemotherapy.

Paul, 42, a computer aided design technician, said: “We’ve got the tree up and managed to get all the shopping done in one day in Oxford.

“He should be home for Christmas but if he gets another infection we will be straight back to Oxford. Christmas will be wherever Harry is this year.”

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