Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Doctors say Echuca toddler free of cancer-like illness

Ryder Colless has been in and out of hospital for half his life but there is light at the end of the tunnel.

IVY WISE February 26, 2014 4:15am

Rachel Ellis with her son, Ryder, 2, has recovered from Langerhans cell histiocytosis.

Ryder Colless is ‘‘one of the lucky ones’’, according to mum Rachel Ellis.

After 12 months of intensive chemotherapy, the two-year-old boy has been given the all-clear.

Ms Ellis and fiance Steve Colless received the good news earlier this month following results from a PET scan and MRI in January.

‘‘It was a massive relief,’’ Ms Ellis said.

‘‘Life can be a bit more normal now.’’

Ryder was diagnosed with Langerhans cell histiocytosisa cancer-like illnessin December 2012.

LCH is a cancer-like disease where the body’s Langerhans’ cellsnormally only found in the skin and major airwaysare abnormal and may be found in different parts of the body.

The diagnosis came after doctors discovered Ryder had diabetes insipidus, a condition caused by LCH disease.

The couple’s life became constant trips to the Royal Children’s Hospital, while also caring for their other son, Hunter, who was only three months at the time.

‘‘We spent most of the time at Ronald McDonald House and mum helped me a lot with Hunter,’’ Ms Ellis said.

‘‘Ryder was 19 months when he was diagnosed, so he wasn’t all that aware of what was going on at first.

‘‘However, over the 12 months, he became more knowing.

‘‘He would say ‘hi’ to Barry, a fish in the fish tank at the hospital, but then he would remember what happened after he saw Barrythe finger prick and chemo.

‘‘In a way, we feel blessed that he was so young, as he wasn’t so aware and he probably won’t remember.’’

Despite the intense treatment, Ryder coped well, Ms Ellis said.

‘‘There were days when he felt flat, but we were told he would lose his hair, but he didn’t,’’ she said.

‘‘He’s been amazing. He’s so resilient.

‘‘We’ve been blessed. We are definitely one of the lucky ones. There are so many kids who are a lot more sick than Ryder.’’

Ryder will have three-monthly MRIs to make sure the disease doesn’t return and every four months he will see an endocrinologist who will monitor the long-term effects of his diabetes insipidus.

He will also have to take hormone medication for the rest of his life for his diabetes.

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