Not only has courageous Castle Douglas lad Cupar Rush beaten a rare form of leukaemia, he’s become a ‘mini-boffin’ to find out how the NHS helped him win that battle.
The six year-old jumped at the chance to see behind the scenes at a hospital laboratory, the first youngster from our region to take part in a scheme to take the frightening mystery out of the treatment children receive.
Accompanied by his big sister, eight year-old Ailsa, he was shown around the Blood Sciences lab at Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary and the staff there made both of them honorary scientists to mark the occasion.
Mum and dad Tracy and Paul looked proudly on during the ceremony.
The trip was organised by the charity Harvey’s Gang, inspired by and named in memory of a seven year-old leukaemia victim from Worthing who had faced the condition not only with courage but curiosity.
The same desire for knowledge was shown by Cupar, visiting the very lab in which his condition had first been diagnosed.
Specialist Biomedical Scientist Gayle Johnstone said: “We were really thrilled to welcome Cupar and Ailsa as the first visitors into our laboratory thanks to Harvey’s Gang.
“Cupar has spent time in DGRI in the past, and had a good understanding of the work which takes place in a hospital.
“However, you don’t really get to see what happens when samples are taken for testing, so this initiative is an excellent way to demystify that process and introduce all the people busy working away behind-the-scenes to help those who aren’t well.”
Cupar finished his treatment in October, and his visit to the laboratory provided a chance to meet Specialist Biomedical Scientist Keith Middlemiss who was part of the team in the lab that actually diagnosed Cupar’s condition.
Specialist Biomedical Scientist Sue Jeffrey also assisted in the tour as did paediatric lead for Harvey’s Gang, Paediatric Ward Staff Nurse Sharron McGarva.
For the tour, Cupar and Ailsa were presented with special white lab coats sponsored by the Institute of Biomedical Science.
Cupar didn’t want to wear his coat at first - but when he saw his sister wearing hers, he quickly put it on!
The youngsters got to play a medical ‘I Spy’ around using microscopes at to look at blood slides and draw what they saw, try a colour reaction experiment and handle real blood and platelet bags.
And the day was rounded off by a presentation of certificates, which saw Cupar and Ailsa officially become honorary Biomedical Scientists.
Cupar and Ailsa also received a goodie bag sponsored by Ortho Clinical Diagnostics.