Ryan Renton with girlfriend Beth Drummond (left). Ryan was diagnosed with CLL which transferred to Richters syndrome
At 19, Ryan Renton was diagnosed with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) a rare form of blood cancer after being hospitalised with glandular fever.
Following gruelling treatment, the former Berwick High School student went into remission in 2016 but last October Ryan and his family were given the heartbreaking news that the cancer had returned.
Treatment had been going well for the 24-year-old until he started getting headaches in June and doctors found his cancer had progressed to Richter’s syndrome an extremely rare complication with CLL which means Ryans cancer is now more aggressive and fast-growing.
Dad Brian, sister Stacy, Ryan and mum Tracy.
Ryan is now half way through the exhausting chemotherapy treatment and may need radiotherapy ahead of a bone marrow transplant later this year.
Ryan, who worked as a builder with dad Brian, said: Some people take bad to chemotherapy and they have stages where they have to take a break, thankfully my body hasnt reacted in that way. Its the tiredness that affects me the most.
“With CLL, doctors expected that it would come back. Its just something that I have to deal with, you just have to take it on a daily basis really.
Cancer Research UK says between just two and 10 in every 100 people diagnosed with CLL develop the more aggressive Richters syndrome.
Mum Tracy, 52, said: “Were so proud of him. We just have to support him through it. Ryan being so positive helps us.
“Hes going to get a lot worse before he gets better.
“When he goes in for his bone marrow transplant later this year he will be in hospital for six to eight weeks in isolation.
His family are encouraging people to register to become stem cell donors through DKMS or the Anthony Nolan Trust.
“It will save someones life at the end of the day thats why its very important to have all these donors, added Tracy.
Ryans girlfriend, 20-year-old Beth Drummond, set up a Just Giving page in the hope of raising 500 to help give Ryan the best 25th birthday in October.
Within hours theyd topped their target and now more than 4,600 has been donated.
Ryan is never one to complain, life keeps throwing all these curve balls at him, but he takes them like a boss and always has the most positive attitude, said Beth.
“Hes got a super long journey ahead of him and we are all super proud of him for being so amazing through all of this. Nobody deserves to have to go through this at such a young age.
Covid-19 restrictions means Ryan cant go away but he is looking to buy a gaming computer with the funds donated.
Ryan added: Im overwhelmed with the support. I wanted to thank my football club, Tweedmouth Amateur FC, for all of their support and Luke Dickson and Robyn Pick who were due to complete the Gateshead Half Marathon for Berwick Cancer Cars so they ran a course around Berwick instead.