On the outskirts of New York stood a beautiful old English Manor. This manor was unknown to many people, hidden by a vast green forest. The people that lived in this Manor were gifted individuals. They possessed unique superpowers, such as changing colour, throwing balls of ice from their bare hands and even some having the ability to fly. This manor was their haven, a school where they could learn to control their powers before they did good and used them to fight evil and protect the world.
Charlie was a little boy living in a small quiet town in London. For the past couple of months he had not been feeling well or his usual self. He felt tired more than often, and noticed small lumps in his neck and thought that his clothes didn’t quite fit him the way they used to. One unremarkable day after school he found a letter addressed to him inviting him to visit this majestical school and its leader Professor X. Charlie had never heard of Professor X and was wondering why he had been asked specifically to meet him. However that day Charlie set out on his journey to meet Professor X, in the hope to see this school and the superpowers of the people that lived there.
When Charlie arrived to the Manor, he was amazed at the magnificence of the building. It was so tall with wide windows, dotted with ivy curving its way through the bricks. Charlie walked through the golden gates to see the grounds of the school busy with people who looked just like him flying, or disappearing and then reappearing in plain sight or running around so fast that all you could see was a blur. He was in awe. These people were unique and they weren’t alone. As Charlie entered the school he was ushered to a door that read Professor X on the front, he pushed it open and there in-front of him was Professor X sitting comfortably in a silver wheelchair.
“Ah you must be Charlie?” exclaimed Professor X. Charlie simply nodded, as he was unsure of what to say. “Don’t be shy Charlie, but you must be wondering why I asked you to come meet me?” Charlie again nodded and said, “Professor X does this have anything to do with how I have been feeling lately?” Professor X replied, “In-fact it does Charlie. I myself can read the minds of thousands of people and I use a special machine to help me find people that I would like to help. You happen to be one of those special people. Charlie as I understand you have been feeling more tired lately, and think your clothes are looser than usual? Also you have had lots of colds within the last month more than usual?”
Charlie stared at Professor X mesmerised, “Yes, I have. What does it all mean?” Professor X replied, “Charlie what you are describing sounds like a condition known as leukaemia. This condition is where within your bone marrow, white blood cells –important for when you have a cough or cold – have their own superpower where they multiply without becoming mature. Usually in people without leukaemia their body tells their cells to stop producing more, however in your case Charlie your cells will not respond to the stop signs and they will continue dividing.”
Professor X continued, “ Most common type of leukaemia is acute lymphocytic leukaemia which affects 3/4 cases of leukaemia in children your age. However there are other types of leukaemia. These include acute myelogenous leukaemia, which affects a different type of white blood cell known as a myeloblast and causes it to produce more immature cells. The chronic types of these conditions can also occur where the cells grow over a longer time, however they are more common in adults.”
“Professor X are you sure I have this condition? How do you know I do?” Professor X answered, “ There are a number of different ways we can test to see if you do. We can have a look at your bone, which is known as a bone marrow aspiration or even look at some of the lymph nodes in your neck, or we can look at your blood under a microscope to see the size and number and shape of your cells. But this will be in due time after our meeting.”
“Wow! This all is pretty overwhelming Professor X” exclaimed Charlie. Professor X swivelled his wheel chair closer to Charlie and said, “Charlie the reason you are here is because you are gifted with your own superpower just like all the people that live in this school. Your body can make an abundance of cells; you are just as special as anyone else. But I also want you to know you are not alone, there are many people in the world who have this condition and are facing similar problems to you. There will always be someone you can talk to about it and I am always here should you ever have any questions or problems.”
“But Professor X I have heard of people having bad superpowers that hurt them! What if mine does that?” Professor X said, “Charlie superpowers must be controlled no matter what they are, that is the purpose of my school. So with your power we must control your cells, so that they stop dividing to become immature but instead divide to become mature and healthy, so you can feel happy and less tired again.”
“How will you do that?” Professor X replied, “Firstly this path you will take is a journey it may be long or short but in many people controlling their cells’ growth is successful. We have two options chemotherapy which are medicines given to stop the cells that are not growing correctly from producing new cells and they can be given as a pill to swallow or through injections or into your blood directly. The other option is a stem cell transplant using your own healthy cells or one of someone else’s to allow your body to produce enough healthy white blood cells.”
Charlie was happy; he was going to receive Professor X’s help in controlling his super power, which meant eventually he too could become part of a superhero team he always dreamed of.