A special post for Deryn

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This is a quick post for Deryn ( @DerynChemoKid & @_DoEveRYthiNg ), a very inspiring young man who, as he puts it himself, has TWO lurgies. In fact, these two lurgies are Langerhans Call Sarcoma and Leukaemia, and Deryn is the only person in the world to have them both (he’s 1 in 7 billion!). The family tweets provide a unique insight into their lives whilst Deryn receives treatment (bone marrow transplant, get on the BM register now!) and our a humbling and fascinating daily addition to my twitter timeline.

At medical school, students are traditionally taught the mantra of “if you hear hoof-beats, think horses not zebras”, meaning common things are common so don’t go jumping straight to rare conditions when faced with a problem. In childhood cancer however, it’s the opposite: Think zebras. Well, as Deryn proves, those hoof-beats may not even be regular zebras. Below is a photo of Zoe, the ONLY Golden Zebra in captivity. Golden Zebras are astonishingly rare, and also incredibly beautiful. Reading about Zoe the Golden Zebra earlier this week reminded me of Deryn and his often inspiring journey. This post is for him, and his family, and the inspiration they are to other families on similar journeys, and a reminder to healthcare professionals that sometimes, those hoof-beats ain’t horses!

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Zoe is one of the rarest zebras in exsistance. She is what is called a Golden Zebra, although some refer to her as a “white” zebra. Zoe is the only Golden Zebra known to be in captivity at this time. Zoe was born on the Island of Molokai, Hawaii in 1998 and shortly after her and her mother, Oreo, were moved to the Three Ring Ranch, which is an animal sancturary on the Big Island of Hawaii.

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