The family of a Buncrana youngster diagnosed with neuroblastoma at the age of 17 months has organised a celebratory ‘Milestone Party.’

Andrew Mullins, who turned 8 on September 26, has been told by his doctors he is now cancer-free.

Speaking to Inish Times, Andrew’s mum, Aster said: ‘Andrew has reached his five-year milestone. At his most recent checkup in Dublin, his doctors told us he is now cancer-free.

“This marks a new chapter in Andrew’s life. He no longer has cancer. It is a fabulous milestone for him and it is the right time to celebrate. That is why we have decided to host a ‘Milestone Party’ in the Plaza in Buncrana on Friday (October 13), from 8.00pm to 12.00am.

“Andrew finished his treatment just before his third birthday. It took Andrew and ourselves a long time to recover from the trauma of his diagnosis and treatment, physically, and emotionally.

“It was a series of small steps for Andrew. For two years after treatment, he had three-monthly checkups and for two years after that he had four-monthly checkups. Now  that Andrew has reached his five year milestone, we feel ready for a party,” smiled Aster.

All donations received at Andrew’s ‘Milestone Party will be divided between Barretstown Children’s Charity and the Conor Foley Neuroblastoma Cancer Research Foundation.

Barretstown Children’s Charity offers free, medically endorsed camps and programmes, designed for children and their families living with serious illness.

The Conor Foley Foundation funds research into less toxic treatments for neuroblastoma, with the ultimate goal of finding a cure.

Aster said the whole Mullins  / Bos family is looking forward to Andrew’s ‘Milestone Party.

She said: ‘My parents, Jaap and Aaltje Bos and my husband, Mike’s mum, Pauline are going to be there alone with Andrew’s brothers, sisters, cousins and uncles.

“We would also like to invite anyone who would like to celebrate with us to come along. They would be more than welcome. There will be tea and coffee, cakes and buns. We will have a little acknowledgement at 9.00pm and then the entertainment will be provided by a DJ. It should be a great night.

“After his treatment, Andrew attended Magic Moments pre-school, where the staff were amazing. He is now in Second Class at Gaelscoil Bhun Cranncha and doing really well. He is very healthy. He loves being outdoors and active. He has a zest for life and is fearless. He also loves playing the bodhrán, swimming and basketball.

“During Andrew’s treatment  his dad, Mike and I became convinced that it is always God’s will to heal. He wanted Andrew well. I always knew that deep down and it is with this belief I face the future,” said Aster.

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