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Why Patrick is the best brother ever

Joe Rourke and brother Patrick (3436187)
Joe Rourke and brother Patrick (3436187)

A three-year-old boy, who is battling cancer for the second time, has undergone a successful bone marrow transplant from his brother.

Joe Rourke, from Redgrave, received the transplant at Bristol Royal Infirmary on July 13.

This year, the Joe has already undergone 13 weeks of aggressive chemotherapy, followed by eight doses of total body radiotherapy, three doses of targeted radiotherapy and a further five doses of chemotherapy.

The latest treatment wiped his body clear of all his own bone marrow to make way for the transplant from brother Patrick, six

Doctors now hope that Patrick’s bone marrow will help rebuild Joe's immune system and fight cancer cells.

After originally being given the all clear in August 2017, Joe is battling cancer for the second time after being diagnosed with a rare from of lymphoblastic lymphoma in January, during a routine check up.

Best brothers (3436219)
Best brothers (3436219)

“Joe has been so brave throughout all of his treatment, even in high-spirits at times, playing with his Duplo and Playdo, watching DVDs and playing games,” said Joe’s dad, Sean, 53.

“My wife Louise and I are living in a charity house close to the hospital in Bristol at the moment and, on Tuesday, he was allowed out of isolation for an hour for the first time, as his immune system is growing stronger.

“Doctors say not only has he been a text-book patient, but he is doing well.

“We are so proud of him, and Patrick, too.”

Still fighting : Jor Rourke, three
Still fighting : Jor Rourke, three

Update: Joe has been allowed to stay with his parents at the charity house they are staying at in Bristol, for the first time this weekend.

There is a fund to support Joseph and the couple at gofundme.com/joseph-vs-cancer

Joe was chosen as this year's charity for the King of the Cup football competition in Diss

For the full story, see this week's Diss Express

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