IT was a day his parents feared they may never see.
But after more than a year of invasive and painful treatment, six-year-old Jacob Marsland has achieved remission.
Parents Nicky, 38, and Anthony, 43, feared the worst when the Kingsmead youngster was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, in January 2007, and failed to respond to treatment.
But tests on his bone marrow have turned up no traces of cancer, meaning the disease has finally been stabilised.
Nicky explained that although there are still cancerous cells in Jake’s body, his illness is no longer getting worse.
“Sometimes people think remission means the cancer has completely gone but in our case it just means its not spreading anymore,“ she said.
We’re not celebrating, we’re not getting overjoyed, and we’ve still got a big battle ahead so we’ve just got to keep carrying on.Jacob's mum Nicky
Happy “We’ve known things were heading that way for a few months but we have not really advertised it.
“We’re not celebrating, we’re not getting overjoyed, and we’ve still got a big battle ahead so we’ve just got to keep carrying on.
“He’s still got his feeding tube in. After his last round of chemo getting food in him was hard enough but since the radiotherapy his appetite is non-existent. But he’s happy enough in his self.”
The brave Manchester United fan came to the end of his latest three-week round of radiotherapy on Friday and will now begin taking an oral medication called cis-retinoic acid to ‘switch off’ any remaining cancer cells.
Nicky added: “It doesn’t work all the time though, I’ve heard of a lot of people taking it and it hasn’t stopped the cancer coming back but there is a small chance it could work which is better than nothing.”
Despite the positive news, the Marslands are determined to continue raising funds to pay for Jake to undergo treatment abroad as there is a 70 per cent chance of relapse at which point no more treatment is available in the UK.
“Once we’ve raised the £250,000, we need to decide if we’re going to use it to get Jake the treatment straight away or if we’re going to wait and see if signs that the cancer is coming back show themselves,” she said.
“At first we thought we would have to go to New York for the anti-body treatment but we’ve been doing a lot of research and think we can get the same in Germany, it’s all still up in the air.”