Personal experiences lead schoolboys to raise funds for Marie Curie
by STACEY HEANEY
Vera Hewitt, Chairperson of Lisburn Hillsborough Fundraising group of Marie Curie Cancer Care, receiving a cheque for £352.60 from pupils of Riverdale Primary School who raised the money when they took part in the Lisburn Fun Run. Also pictured is Principal Trevor Carruthers. US2611-107AO
SEVEN local schoolboys recently took part in the Lisburn Fun Run in aid of Marie Curie Cancer Care after personal losses led them to want to raise money for the charity.
The Primary 7 pupils at Riverdale PS decided amongst themselves to take part in the event, raising a magnificent £352.60 to provide care by a Marie Curie nurse for cancer sufferers.
The boys - Todd Gowdy, Ethan Dunn, James Rea, Stevie Scott, Adam Lesley, Edward Weir and Roddy Buchanan - decided to enter the Fun Run after a family friend of Todd's had passed away earlier this year, whilst another boy lost his grandfather and another's cousin had passed away from cancer.
Todd's mum Pauline said: "We are all so proud of the boys. It was such a great thing that they did it."
Pauline and the other mums all ensured the boys were wearing their Marie Curie T-shirts and flowers, whilst they also released balloons in memory of those they have lost.
Pauline added: 'A family friend, Duncan Barnes, who was 49, passed away earlier this year with a brain tumour. Towards the end Duncan was in the Marie Curie Hospice for eight weeks and when his wife Elizabeth spoke at the funeral, she said how great the Marie Curie nurses were, so Todd decided to do the Fun Run for Duncan."
The former Friends' pupil, who had a three-year- old child Jude, was a
great friend of Todd's family.
"Todd found out how much it cost to pay for a Marie Curie nurse to go to a patient's home and how much it would be for a certain amount of hours, so he knew that if they raised £50 or £60 they would be paying for treatment for a person."
Pauline continued: 'All of the boys were fantastic, they all turned up and completed the run and when they released the balloons that was Todd letting Duncan know that was for him.
"It's very special that the boys, particularly boys of that age, did this. Some of them are quite small and their Marie Curie t-shirts were like dresses, I'm very proud of them.
"I'd like to thank everybody who sponsored the boys," she concluded.
Mr. Trevor Carruthers, Principal of Riverdale Primary School, said they were very proud of what the boys have achieved.
"They organised this off their own bat and enlisted the support of parents, and as well as the obvious benefits to their own health, they managed to raise a fantastic amount of money for a very worthwhile charity" he said.
Vera Hewitt,' the Chairperson for the Lisburn Hillsborough Fundraising Group, also paid tribute to the boys' fundraising efforts.
"It's just great that seven wee boys should have had the initiative to go ahead and organise this themselves and do the fun run," she said. "Unfortunately, quite often young people get a bad name these days and here we have these boys doing this for charity.
"The money they have raised will be wisely spent. It costs £20 an hour
Marie Curie nurse, so obviously funds are always needed.
"I'd like to say 'Thank You' to the boys and their parents for helping
them and their support."
Vera added: "The Lisburn Hillsborough Marie Curie Fundraising Group is a small group, with just eight of us, so we are always looking for new members."
Anyone interested in joining the group can contact Amanda Scott on 9088 2067.