Reuben Davis, a promising young judo athlete at age 11, had his life changed forever two days after Christmas when he was diagnosed with leukaemia.

Reuben has gone from a strong young man to being often overcome with illness, but hope is not lost for the youngster, his mother Gwen Davis explains.

"They have told me that it's curable - which is what you really want to hear.

"He's gotten a lot better," Davis said.

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She told the Herald that on the December 27 she noticed that Reuben was looking very ill.

"I noticed that he was a terrible colour and his face was getting very thin and you could see in the whites of his eyes they were going yellow."

Reuben Davis was a promising young judo athlete before the diagnosis. Photo / Supplied
Reuben Davis was a promising young judo athlete before the diagnosis. Photo / Supplied

Taking him to their GP straight away they were sent to Waitakere Hospital where blood tests were taken from Reuben.

After an overnight stay in hospital a consultant told the family Reuben had leukaemia and would need to go to Starship Hospital.

"I was thinking as we were driving over there maybe it's not. Maybe we'll retake the bloods and it will be alright sort of thing," Davis said.

"When we got there they explained everything and told us and that they couldn't give a definite diagnosis of what type until he had his bone marrow operation."

Reuben Davis has also developed steroid-induced diabetes as a result of the leukaemia and needs two or three injections a day. Photo / Supplied
Reuben Davis has also developed steroid-induced diabetes as a result of the leukaemia and needs two or three injections a day. Photo / Supplied

Reuben was in and out of hospital within a week, but now has regular visits to hospital and has developed steroid-induced diabetes as a result of his condition.

He needs two or three injections a day, but his phobia of needles can make the process and his treatments difficult, Davis explained.

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Davis said it will be a long road ahead for Reuben and their family, but things are looking good.

"The doctors have told me that they don't suspect it will be a long time thing.

"All the time the treatments are getting better and the statistics are pretty good," she said.

A video explaining cancer cells in the body and some factors which may contribute to its development.

Through the help of family, friends and their local church, the family is getting through.

Davis has taken time off from her work at North Shore Hospital to care for Reuben.

One of her colleagues and friends created a Givealittle page, with all the money raised going towards the family.

Davis was surprised when her friend created the page, but was grateful.

"I have friends back home in Ireland and my friend said people just want to help out and it is just one way people can.

"He also would have been starting Year 7 this year but he won't be able to go now, so we thought we could use some extra money to help with some education," she said.