Christmas will be a pretty big deal for Kristopher Turner and his family.
Not only will they celebrating the festive occasion – they will also be celebrating his ninth birthday on Christmas Day.
And it will mean more to the South Shore family than most, after an especially tough year.
In June, Kristopher’s mum Linda and dad Chris were given the devastating news he had a relapse in his battle against leukaemia.
He underwent a bone marrow transplant in September, after his big sister Lacey, 15, was found to be a perfect match.
She had no hesitation in undergoing the gruelling surgery to help Kristopher, who also suffers from autism.
The family did have a scare a few weeks ago, when routine tests showed the level of platelets – cells which are involved in blood clotting – in Kristopher’s blood had plummeted.
But further tests showed them to be at a more normal level, meaning he can enjoy his special day at his Boscombe Road home with his family.
Dad Chris said: “He is doing OK now and everything is how it should be.
“It did give us a bit of a scare when his platelets showed up as being alarmingly low.
“We had to go back for another check, but that one showed up as fine.
“They’re not sure what caused it – perhaps an infection or he was run down. He is still on 100 donor cells from the transplant.
“They are just going to keep monitoring it and doing the weekly checks – keeping a close eye on him. And he’ll be in semi-isolation until May.
“We are so glad to be able to spend Christmas together, as a family.
“Kristopher has been through so much this year.
“He will get two lots of presents, as Christmas Day is also his birthday.
“It will be a special one for us this year as it’s been a tough time.”
Kristopher was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia in 2013 – after his parents noticed he had lost weight, kept getting bruises and was getting tired.
After four months of intensive chemotherapy, the family was pleased to hear he had gone into remission.
But in June this year – the anniversary of his first diagnosis – a routine test showed the cancer had returned.
Doctors decided the only way forward was a bone marrow transplant, with Lacey as a donor.
And after Kristopher’s story was featured in The Gazette last month, telling the tale of Lacey’s bravery, the family received a surprise gift.
Chris said: “We received a letter, which was addressed to Lacey, praising her for her actions and giving £50 to Lacey and £50 for Kristopher – for them to spend on whatever they liked.
“It was so thoughtful and generous, we couldn’t believe it. We were really touched and we would really like to say thank you.
“It was such a lovely thing to do.”
Kristopher is hoping an X-Box One will be among his Christmas presents, as he loves playing on games consoles.