A BRAVE schoolboy – who fulfilled his dream of singing on stage with popstar Jessie J – has died after losing his battle with a rare blood cancer.
Little fighter Dan Sullivan, from Hartlepool, was diagnosed as having acute myeloid leukaemia – an aggressive form of leukaemia – in May last year.
He battled the disease and put up with gruelling rounds of chemotherapy, but eventually, earlier this year, doctors gave the youngster’s family the devastating news that the disease had returned and there was nothing more they could do for him.
The seven-year-old lost his fight for life on Tuesday at his home in Park Road, Hartlepool, surrounded by his adoring family.
Tributes have poured in for the much-loved youngster on social networking site Twitter, with Lewis Myers writing: “It still doesn’t seem real, RIP Dan you will always be remembered and dearly missed.”
Angela Henderson tweeted: “Thoughts and prayers for a brave boys passing and loved ones left behind too,” and Lauren Conroy added: “Thinking of all of Dan’s friends and family even though I never met him he was a brave little fighter and an inspiration.”
Liam Muir wrote: “Huge character, huge warrior, will be sorely missed”, while Jessica added: “So lucky to have known such a brave boy.”
Hartlepool Royal National Lifeboat Association (RNLI) coxswain Robbie Maiden, who fulfilled another of Dan’s dreams by showing him around the town’s lifeboat station, also paid tribute to the schoolboy.
He said: “In the short time that we got to spend with Dan, one thing that came across was that he had a massive personality and how brave he was.
“Everybody that was there took an instant shine to him, he was that sort of little boy. He was a little star he was and our thoughts go out to his family at this time.”
Popstar Jessie J who sang Laserlight with Dan on stage in front of 11,000 fans was also said to be smitten with the adorable youngster.
A spokeswoman for the charity Believe In Magic, which set up the on-stage meeting between the pair - said: “We’re in touch with Jessie J and her management quite a lot and she and they were always asking about Dan.
“She was so touched by him that she even paid tribute to him in her book Nice To Meet You on page 169, where she wrote quite a long piece about him.”
Dan, a pupil at Hartlepool’s Eldon Grove Primary School, had a gene mutation which meant once a leukaemia cell is present it continues to reproduce and multiply making it difficult to control.
His loving parents Gillian and Gary Sullivan, and all of his family and friends, were delighted when his treatment appeared to be working.
But earlier this 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.
Dan leaves behind his mum Gillian, 45, and dad Gary, 46, and five brothers Anthony, 27, Luke, 21, twins Carl and Lewis, 17, and 15-year-old Conor.