Cancer sufferer Daniel suffers a setback

Daniel Homer on board the yacht he helped sail along the Firth of Clyde.
Daniel Homer on board the yacht he helped sail along the Firth of Clyde.

A cancer sufferer re-started treatment to kill off leukaemia just days after returning from a trip of a lifetime with others in recovery.

Daniel Homer had been given the all clear by doctors to take part in the four-day sailing challenge, where he joined a crew to sail a yacht across the Firth of Clyde in Scotland.

I was a bit nervous because I’m not a huge fan of the open water, but we could always see land and we had a really good time.

Daniel Homer

But after he returned home, the 20-year-old fell ill once again, with a blood test showing the acute lymphoblastic leukaemia he was diagnosed with 18 months earlier had returned.

He is now back at Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary (RVI) for treatment and hopes to undergo a bone marrow transplant in addition to rounds of radiotherapy and chemotherapy.

His original diagnosis came after he started to feel unwell three months after he started his apprenticeship as an IT technician at Teesport.

When Daniel, who was living in Wynyard at the time, failed to feel better, a blood test by his GP showed he was suffering from the disease.

The form he has is complicated because of a chromosome which means the drugs used to kill off the cancer cells attaches itself to protein, making it more resistant.

Daniel said: “I came back on the Thursday and felt fine, then on the Friday I woke up and I didn’t feel well.

“Since Christmas, I had pneumonia and that took a couple of weeks to go, and since then I’ve felt fine, but on that Friday I felt different, and I knew something was going on.

“Blood checks usually take a couple of hours and I thought everyone had just gone home because it was a Friday.

“But it turned out they were double and triple-checking it, and they said my immune system was down to zero and the leukaemia was back.

“I’m back on treatment and basically back to where I was in December 2013.”

As Daniel undergoes treatment, he is making plans to try out sailing once he is better.

His first experience was put together by the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust, which saw him and 18 others in recovery from cancer man a yacht as they rebuild their confidence.

Daniel, who now lives in Sunderland with parents David, 59, a development operative for a metals firm, and Mary, 59, who works in administration for the NHS in Sunderland, added: “It was fantastic and I’m really glad I went on it.
“I was a bit nervous because I’m not a huge fan of the open water, but we could always see land and we had a really good time.”