A charity supporting kids with cancer has received a funding boost after friends of a South Tyneside schoolboy were inspired by his fight against the disease.
Little Harrison Cochrane was diagnosed with Hodgkin Lymphoma, last December, which caused cancerous tumours to grow in his chest and stomach.
We are really grateful for their support as the more people get behind us and help us fundraise the more families we can supportDee Tyler
For the past year, the six-year-old has battled for his life with his school friends, from Westoe Crown Primary School, South Shields, offering much needed support when it came to keeping his spirits up.
He and his family, mum Claire and dad Pete, received support from CLIC Sargent children’s cancer charity.
Yesterday, in a special assembly, youngsters heard from the charity’s fundraiser Dee Tyler on what the £1,037 they raised during a fundraising sports day, held at the end of the summer term, will be spent on.
She explained how the charity supports families with help and advice as well as being a shoulder for parents to lean on. They also have specialist play workers who support youngsters who are undergoing treatment.
The visit took place during Children’s Cancer Awareness month held throughout September.
Mrs Tyler, fundraiser for the charity, said: “The school has done absolutely fantastic. They came up with such an inventive way to raise the money by having the school competing against each other in a sports day dressed in either red or white to replicate the red and white blood cells we have in our bodies which are affected when a person is diagnosed with cancer.
“We are really grateful for their support as the more people get behind us and help us fundraise the more families of young children and teenagers we can support.”
Harrison is continuing to battle his way back to health and his parents say he is responding well to his treatment with some of his tumours now gone. However, he will continue to have regular checks and will remain on medication for the rest of his life.
Headteacher Steve Price said: “CLIC Sargent - the charity- has become very special to us as a school. They supported Harrison and his family through such a traumatic time and raising funds was our way of giving something back for all their help.
“The school, parents and the community really got behind our fundraising drive and we will be continuing to raise funds for such a worthwhile and important cause throughout the course of the year.”
How it will help
Cash raised for children’s cancer charity CLIC Sargent helps to provide a support network for youngsters battling the disease and their families.
A range of assistance is offered from the moment a child is admitted to hospital after being diagnosed with cancer.
Support includes providing specialist nurses and play assistants as well as families being assigned a CLIC Sargent social worker.
Steven Shiels, 42, has been helping families - including those from South Tyneside - for the past two and half years.
He is based at Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Hospital and provides emotional and practical support to children and young people who are going through cancer treatment and their families.
Mr Shiels said: “A family might need some extra emotional support after hearing bad news. Or somebody might have rang us in an emotional state because of financial problems caused by travel costs or missing work.
“I help by sorting out grants, arranging financial aid, and another large part of what I do is making sure they get the benefits they are entitled to.
“The last thing you need when you’re fighting cancer or your loved one has cancer is the threat of losing your home, or getting into debt.”
Every family receives a CLIC Sargent grant of £170 to help to fund immediate costs once a child is diagnosed.
Mr Shields added: “I love working with the young people and their families. When you help somebody out and they appreciate it, it really is the best feeling in the world. And it’s so motivating, if you could bottle the feeling you get in this job it you could sell it. It makes you appreciate the little things in life. I really do appreciate every day.”
September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.
n To find out more about CLIC Sargent and how you can support children and young people with cancer visit: www.clicsargent.org.uk