Dylan lives life to the full
Fighting with a smile
By Reuben Abraham
Dylan has Cystic Fibrosis but that doesn't stop him playing football or rugby... or running rings around his little sister Ellie.
Dylan is seven, but going on 62.
That is, if his extensive knowledge of drugs is any indicator of his maturity. Some of them are quite unpronounceable to the rest of us.
Lucinda: Friend, guide and mum
It's all in an effort to beat a very life-limiting illness: Cystic Fibrosis, a condition that secretes thick mucus into your lungs, heavily curtailing your breath, and indeed your life.
Life expectancy with CF is generally only 32 in England, but that's one of the highest rates in the world.
'Sunny every day'
Going by the success of the CF Unit at the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle, Dylan has the best team fighting on his side, staffed with a loyal band of doctors and nurses.
But the biggest force-multiplier in his arsenal is Lucinda. Friend, guide, comrade. And mum.
"It's still sunny every day here," she beams at their home in the County Durham countryside, as she spells out the daily regimen that Dylan has to undergo.
Dylan has to take lots of medicines
There are 25 different medicines he has to swallow daily, along with a laborious range of breathing exercises that have to be completed at least twice a day. Not to forget the regular visits to the hospital.
And should Dylan catch a common cold from his friends at school he's immediately hospitalised and given antibiotics through an intravenous drip that leaves him in pain and frustration. But colds can be fatal to those with CF.
And yet they smile through everything, Dylan and mum, brimming with optimism. Taking hope in tests currently being conducted in labs on a new drug that may one day cure him.
Meanwhile, Dylan plays rugby and football and still runs circles around his little sister Ellie.
"We don't want to wrap him in cotton wool. We want to give him a life as normal as possible. We'll remain positive and make the best of each day as it comes," says Lucinda.
last updated: 14/07/2008 at 15:10