Looking dapper in his tuxedo and with a smile on his face, a delighted Brandon Ballance celebrated at his end-of-year prom, on what was also his 16th birthday.
It was a proud and emotional moment for the teenager and his family, who feared that he would not get the chance to experience these milestone occasions.
Because the Amble lad has had a tough life, having been diagnosed with an inoperable brain-stem tumour when he was two.
Then, last December, a scan revealed that he had a tumour on his spine. The growth was removed in January, but brave Brandon suffers nerve damage, pain and mobility problems, while a cocktail of drugs leaves him feeling fatigued.
So, if anyone deserves a party, it is Brandon. On Thursday, he lived it up at the James Calvert Spence College prom, before enjoying his 16th birthday bash the following evening.
His mum Sarah Nicholson said: “I have so many people to thank for making these two days magical for Brandon, especially Richard Davison Photography for taking lots of beautiful photos for Brandon’s prom and to Jim Thompson, who chauffeured Brandon to his prom in his beautiful Mercedes-Benz sports car – it made his prom day one to remember. He looked so handsome and was treated like a king.
“The two days were tiring for him, but he had an amazing time and so many people helped to create many beautiful memories. Thank you to everyone for all of Brandon’s cards, gifts and money – he has been really overwhelmed by how kind everyone has been.”
She also thanked her friends and family, and Crazy-Pix who supplied a photo booth.