This is Connor. This handsome little dude is the son of a friend of mine.
Last year, at the age of 10, Connor was diagnosed in a rush of sudden medical interventions, with Leukaemia.
The days that followed were a blur. Disbelief sat upon disbelief. This lovely family had tragically lost another son to cancer some years before. To endure such a loss once was punishment enough. To nurse a child through cancer a second time was not something we could let them do alone.
Word spread. A dozen mums drew up a rota of cooking, ironing and lightening the load; the school community made up boxes of books, treats and letters; we all held our children a little bit closer and dug deep to think of ways to help.
This is Connor’s primary school playing field, in May 2013.
This is the day that the community came together to run for Connor.
Toddlers, mums, teachers, and school children took to the field to run the Race4Life.
Our children, ordinarily steadfast in their abstinence from exercise ran around and around the circular track. Like so many other parents that day, my own little boy blew my low expectations spectacularly out of the water, completing the course to receive his medal.
The Mayor donned a pink wig and paid tribute to Connor and his family. Heck, boys even wore tutus…
This was the day when I recognised the power of ‘us’.
There were people on that field with weighty problems of their own, people who had little time to spare, and people who had never run a mile in their lives, and yet when the call came, they turned out in droves and did it for Connor.
Thankfully, Connor is doing well. Life will never be quite the same for him and his amazing family, but they now know that they are not alone.