Jack's fight will help others

YOUNG cancer sufferers will be able to holiday at a specially-equipped luxury caravan bought in memory of a Felixstowe boy - after a heart-melting plea on TV by one of the youngster's friends.

YOUNG cancer sufferers will be able to holiday at a specially-equipped luxury caravan bought in memory of a Felixstowe boy - after a heart-melting plea on TV by one of the youngster's friends.

Liam Fairhurst gave a deeply emotional pitch to win £50,000 from the panel of five millionaires on the new ITV show Fortune: Million Pound Giveaway.

The 11-year-old, who has been treated over the past year for cancer in his left leg, told the panel he wanted to set up the holiday home in memory of his friend Jack Wilkinson, who died aged 12 in August after a long battle against bladder cancer.

The two boys met and became firm friends while undergoing treatment for their illnesses at Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge.

Jack's mum Caz Wilkinson, of Fairfield Avenue, Felixstowe, said: “Jack had always wanted to help other people, too, and raised money for the children's hospice and Macmillan Nurses.

“In my heart, I know Jack would have been thrilled to bits to think Liam was fundraising in his name.

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“It is devastating for us to have lost our son but the fact that people want to remember his spirit in this way is absolutely fantastic.”

Jack, who went to Colneis Junior and Deben High, was first diagnosed with a rare form of bladder cancer when he was just two and spent much of his life in and out of hospital.

Liam's dad, Mark Fairhurst, of Soham, Cambridgeshire, said: “Appearing on this show has been the icing on the cake for Liam who has personally worked hard to raise over £13,000 for CLIC Sargent since his friend Jack lost his battle with cancer.

“Jack's death has been devastating for Liam and at least now he has something tangible in his memory.”

Liam underwent four operations, seven courses of chemotherapy and 32 blasts of radiotherapy to treat the Synovial Sarcoma in his left leg. He has been fundraising for the past few months for the holiday home.

The money awarded by the panel - Crystal Palace chairman Simon Jordan, Ann Summers managing director Jacqueline Gold, entrepreneur Duncan Bannatyne, Mobo founder Kanya King and novelist Jeffrey Archer - will help fund the three-bedroomed, fully equipped, luxury caravan in Filey, Yorkshire, for five years. It will be used by 30 families a year.

Len Collingwood, holiday services manager for CLIC Sargent, said: “We are so grateful to Liam, because of his courage and determination many more children with cancer and their families will benefit.”

WEBLINK

www.clicsargent.org.uk

www.justgiving.com/liamsmile

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