Jessie J makes dying wish come true

Dan with Jessie J
Dan with Jessie J

A BATTLING schoolboy who has just weeks left to live was left gobsmacked when his pop idol Jessie J invited him on stage to help her sing in front of 11,000 fans.

Seven-year-old Dan Sullivan, from Hartlepool, was diagnosed as having acute myeloid leukaemia – an aggressive and rare blood cancer – in May last year.

And the youngster’s face lit up again when a charity arranged for him to meet Jessie J on stage at one of her concerts last week, and he joined the star to help her sing her hit single Laserlight.

Poignantly, the lyrics of the song include the line: “You make me feel good, you make me feel safe, you make me feel like I could live another day”.

Dan’s family are trying to make his final weeks as memorable as possible after he was cruelly given the all-clear from the disease – only for it to return.

Medics discovered that Dan, a pupil at Hartlepool’s Eldon Grove Primary School, had a gene mutation which means once a leukaemia cell is present it continues to reproduce and multiply making it difficult to control.

He started a successful course of chemotherapy and was given the all-clear by doctors at Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary just five months later to the delight of mum and dad Gillian and Gary Sullivan, and all of his family and friends.

But in March last year after several bouts of illness and tiredness, further tests showed the youngster had relapsed and the disease had returned.

He was given another course of chemotherapy and it was hoped that if he again went into remission then he could be given a bone marrow transplant.

A donor was lined up, but, just five days before the potentially life-changing operation, tests showed that the cancer had again returned and the transplant had to be cancelled.

It was then that doctors gave the devastating news to Dan’s family that there was nothing else they could do for him and that he would have a matter of weeks, or at the most a few months, left to live.

Gillian, of Park Road, Hartlepool, said: “We were obviously devastated when we heard the news and Dan doesn’t know what’s going on with him being so young.

“It’s best for him to enjoy things for what they are and enjoy the time he has left without being burdened with that.

“He’s just got such a love of life and is so happy and is an absolutely amazing little boy who we love so much.

“We feel honoured to have been a part of his life.”

She added: “He has asked if there are really angels and wonders what it feels like because we lost a close family members a few years ago. He’s just a gorgeous boy and he’s been so brave throughout all of this, he would put adults to shame.

“He hasn’t moaned once and has taken all of his chemotherapy and medicine in his stride.

“To see him you wouldn’t believe the prognosis. He doesn’t read the rule book Dan, he does things his way!”

Since the bad news, Gillian, 45, and Gary, 46, company director of Platform Lift Solutions, in Hartlepool, who also have five other sons Anthony, 27, Luke, 21, twins Carl and Lewis, 17, and 15-year-old Conor, have tried to cram as many experiences into Dan’s life as possible.

As well as meeting his popstar hero, Dan has also enjoyed a trip to Disneyland Paris, he has been up in the Cleveland Police helicopter.

Yesterday was given a tour of Cleveland Fire Brigade’s Billingham station and fulfilled one of his ambitions when he got to ride in a fire engine.

Gillian added: “We have been involved with a charity called Believe in Magic, and they have been absolutely fantastic with Dan.

“They have helped us out with loads of things and they contacted us to say they had arranged for him to meet Jessie J.

“He loves her, and thought it was great when she allowed him to sit on the stage at her concert in Shrewsbury. I think he was gobsmacked, but he loved every minute of it.

“She asked him to sing alongside her, he thought it was great in front of so many people.

“Jessie J was really down to earth, she spent about half an hour fussing over Dan and she couldn’t have been nicer.

“We really appreciate all the efforts she and the charity went to.”