December 6 2013 Latest news:
Friday, November 1, 2013
He’s best known for his pies, pastries and putting rising baking stars through their paces.
But Paul Hollywood put away his rolling pin and pastry brush to take a brave Norfolk teenager out for a day to remember.
After three years of battling a rare cancer combination, Deryn Blackwell, 13, was treated to a passenger seat perch in the Great British Bake Off judge’s sportiest cars.
With a Ferrari, a McLaren and two Aston Martins in the car park, the family’s meeting with the TV star was a special one.
His mum, Callie Blackwell, said: “Deryn had a massive smile and that’s priceless.
“It was a wonderful day. I cannot thank Paul Hollywood enough.”
The Watton teen was diagnosed with leukaemia aged 10 and later developed Langerhans Cell Sarcoma as well – one of only six cases in the world.
Thought to be the only person to have both conditions at the same time, the Wayland Academy student has been at the Bristol Hospital for Children since February after a bone marrow transplant.
Last week the Blackwell family received the earth-shattering news that Deryn’s marrow had failed to graft.
After four doses of chemotherapy to eradicate any donor bone marrow stem cells still left in him, the last bag of Deryn’s own cells were used in a final-bid to save his life.
As the family wait for the life-changing results over the coming weeks, parents Callie and Simon are making sure Deryn and his brother Dylan, 9, keep motivated and happy.
His mum said a ‘bucket list’ of special activities Deryn wants to do to and people he wants to meet was drawn up to remind him he has something to live for.
On that list is a ride in fast cars – something British Bake Off judge Paul Hollywood told the family over Twitter he could help with and organised the day at Ston Eastern Park hotel, near Bristol.
Despite having an infection, Deryn’s mum said he was getting stronger every day, with a trip out earlier this week without his wheelchair.
The family spend all their money on healthy food, fuel to travel to and from Bristol to Watton and bills and say it is hard to keep up with their new way of living, despite various donations.