Award in memory of brave cancer teenager

MEMORIES of a determined young cancer sufferer filled a school hall during a shield presentation in his honour.Hadleigh High School pupil Brendan Oakes battled with lung cancer for three-and-a-half years but made sure he lived as normal a life as possible right until his death at the age of 15, in May last year.

MEMORIES of a determined young cancer sufferer filled a school hall during a shield presentation in his honour.

Hadleigh High School pupil Brendan Oakes battled with lung cancer for three-and-a-half years but made sure he lived as normal a life as possible right until his death at the age of 15, in May last year.

His courage and spirit made such a big impact on the school that this year it presented a new award in its annual year 11 awards ceremony, the Brendan Oakes shield for determination, which was presented to Sam Biedul.

Brendan's dad, Mark said: “Our daughter, Heather, came up with the idea of presenting a shield in Brendan's memory.

“We discussed it with the school and we really wanted to remember one of his strengths, rather than focusing on the fact that he was someone who suffered.

“He was really determined to live as normal a life as possible, despite everything that went wrong for him.

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“So we decided to present it for determination and wanted it to go to someone who performed much better than everyone had expected of them.”

Diane Drury who was Brendan's head of year said 16-year-old Sam was the perfect person to receive the award.

She added: “Sam has worked really hard and done very well.

“He made so much effort to do as well as he could academically and exceeded everyone's expectations.

“He is also a very nice boy.

“When the presentation was made there was a standing ovation because everyone knew that exactly the right person had been honoured.”

She added: “Brendan was a much loved and popular student. The rest of his year group have put in a lot of effort to raise money for his trust fund and have collected around £4,000 in total so far.”

To donate to the Brendan Oakes Trust make cheques payable to the Brendan Oakes Trust and send them to The Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN.

Brendan Oakes

Brendan, who lived on Stockton Close, Hadleigh, was diagnosed with the bone cancer osteosarcoma in June 2002 and lost his leg to the disease.

After a course of treatment he went into remission for about ten months but the cancer returned in his lungs in January 2004.

After further chemotherapy and surgery to remove tumours on both lungs, doctors said there was nothing more they could do for him.

During his last weeks he asked his parents to set up a trust fund to help other teenagers battling against cancer.

Brendan died in May 2005, aged 15.

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