A BRAVE eight-year-old boy, who has battled a brain tumour for most of his life, has inspired a wave of generosity from across the region, as a fund-raising campaign to make his dreams come true gains momentum.
And in an amazing gesture, a former football chairman has donated £6,000 towards the cause, to help young Brandon Ballance move a step closure to achieving his long-held wish to swim with dolphins.
The inspirational Amble lad was diagnosed with an inoperable cancerous growth on his brain when he was just two years old and has since had to endure gruelling courses of chemotherapy and radiotherapy and lengthy periods of time in hospital.
Last week, the Gazette reported that his mum Sarah Nicholson had made a heartfelt plea to the public to help raise £15,000 to take her boy on holiday to America, where he can fulfil his dream.
And since the fund-raising mission kicked off, the family, from Links Avenue, has received more than £8,000, including the four-figure sum from former Darlington Football Club chairman George Houghton and his wife Jennifer, who live in Ponteland.
Delighted Sarah, who also has a four-year-old daughter, Sienna, was overwhelmed by the gesture.
“I was absolutely gobsmacked, speechless,” she said. “I couldn’t believe that somebody could be that generous.
“Mr Houghton and his wife were really touched by Brandon’s story. It was just so nice.”
She has also praised others for their support and for the donations which have flooded in, as kind-hearted people rally to help her little boy, who she describes as a ‘little fighter’.
Sarah, 33, added: “Myself and Brandon would like to thank everyone for their support. Brandon is overwhelmed by it all and he says a massive thank you to everybody. When he gets a donation through, he’s like ‘thank you, thank you, thank you’.
“He is such a happy little boy when he gets up in the morning now. It is something he can focus on and it is nice for him to have something to look forward to. He is getting rewarded for all his bravery and hard work. It is nice to see him smile again.”
A series of fund-raising events have been arranged to help the youngster fulfil his dream and a balloon race is planned for this Saturday at Amble’s Lord Mayor’s Fields. It will also feature a fun-fair and a range of stalls and starts at noon.
On top of this, a charity account – Brandon’s Wish Fund – is now up and running for anyone who would like to make a donation. It has been set-up with Lloyds TSB, and the account number is 15355568 and the sort code is 772004.
A special page on social networking site Facebook has also been created, entitled Brandon’s Wish.
For more information about the fund-raising events or to donate to the cause, call Sarah on 07725 147188.