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Kevin smiled as he died onXmas day; BRAVE BOY LOSES CANCER FIGHT.

Byline: HEATHER RAMSAY

A SCHOOLBOY died on Christmas Day after bravely smiling his way through a seven-year cancer battle.

Tragic Kevin Humphreys, 15, had been fighting leukaemia since 1994.

Hopes were raised that the gutsy teenager, from Stonehaven, in Aberdeenshire, could finally beat the disease after he was given two bone marrow transplants this year.

The first operation appeared to be a success but Kevin fell ill and needed another transplant at Glasgow's Yorkhill Hospital last Wednesday.

However, Kevin's liver began to fail and the boy with the cheeky smile lost his fight for life just two minutes into Christmas Day with his family around him.

Kevin's mother Carol, 39, said yesterday: "When I look up I know the brightest star in the sky will be Kevin.

"He held on until Christmas Day for us and he smiled just before he died.

"He was brilliant - he never complained no matter how much pain he was in and because he was that way we had to be too.

"He always had a smile on his face, he just tried to get on with it. He was an inspiration, he has been in so much pain, now he's at peace."

Kevin, a pupil at Mackie Academy, had endured countless chemotherapy and radiotherapy sessions over the years and at one stage the family thought he'd finally beaten the disease.

Carol explained: "We thought it was over. We didn't think he could get cancer twice. Then we found out he had it again. It was the worst news possible."

For months the family waited in hope for a match to be found and earlier this year came the news they had waited on, only for his story to end with another operation and tragedy.

But despite the failure of the operations, Carol said the donor had given her, husband Tim, 40, and their two other children, Lynn, 13, and 10-year-old Steven, more precious time with Kevin.

Carol said: Without the first transplant Kevin would have died six months ago. We had some brilliant times with him in that period and we wouldn't have traded it for the world."

CAPTION(S):

FIGHTER: Kevin with his mum Carol before his operation
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Dec 27, 2001
Words:365
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