14-year-old with leg pain that turned out to be cancer was saved by her brother

NHS video shows signs and symptoms of leukaemia

Ruby Cheige, 14, returned home from school in April 2022 with leg pain which her mum, Debra Cheige, 39, initially put down to growing pains.

However, Debra still called 111, who advised her to take Ruby to A&E.

Ruby’s x-ray showed nothing concerning but she was kept off school the next day just to be on the safe side.

Worryingly, that’s when she collapsed and was rushed straight back to the hospital.

During the visit, Ruby underwent a blood test which revealed she had leukaemia, which describes cancer of the white blood cells.

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Debra, from Little Hulton, Manchester, said: “I just froze when we were told she had leukaemia.

“I was in a room full of nurses, and they told me Ruby’s blood came back, saying she had leukaemia – I was in a bubble I couldn’t think.

“I had never thought this would happen to one of my kids.”

According to the Leukaemia and Lymphoma Society, some leukaemia patients can experience bone or joint pain. 

This type of pain is “most often” felt in the long bones of the arms and legs, ribs and in the breastbone. 

Following the diagnosis, Ruby stayed at the Manchester Children’s Hospital for chemotherapy and was an inpatient for four months until September 2022.

However, the treatment failed to eradicate all of the cancerous cells, leaving the 14-year-old in need of a bone marrow transplant.

This procedure is designed to replace the sick person’s bone marrow with healthy cells.

This is where Ruby’s brothers, Rio, 10, and Marley, three, stepped up and were both tested to see if they could donate.

Fortunately, Rio turned out to be a match and donated his bone marrow to Ruby on September 22, 2022.

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Debra said: “I was over the moon that Rio could help but in the back of my mind, I was worried that Rio had to go through surgery too.

“Watching both of your children get put to sleep – it isn’t nice.

“I am super proud of Rio and super proud of Ruby for getting through it all.”

Rio said he was “keen to do everything” he could once he found out there was a chance he could help his sister.

Although Ruby’s body was fighting the donor cells at first, she is now in remission and her cancer has gone.

Rio, who is the “superhero” for his sister, added: “I am so happy my sister Ruby is back home and back to herself.”

Debra added that it’s “so nice” to see her daughter be a kid again. She said: “It took a huge toll on the family, and we are trying to get back to reality.

“I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy – it has been hell.

“There was a chance I could have lost my daughter.

“We are all trying to move on from what happened and get on with our day-to-day.”

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