THE girlfriend of a Wearside teenager who tragically lost his battle with cancer has said his inspirational legacy will live on after £16,000 was raised in his memory.
Houghton lad Dylan Knox passed away on New Year’s Eve after a six-year battle with Ewing’s Sarcoma, a form of cancer that starts in the bones and then can spread to soft tissue.
After extensive treatment at Newcastle’s RVI and a number of relapses, Dylan and his family were told the devastating news last August that his cancer was no longer treatable, despite battling the disease for six years.
Sadly, Dylan passed away on New Year’s Eve, just three months after celebrating his 18th birthday.
When he was told that his condition was terminal, selfless Dylan, a former pupil at Houghton Kepier, said he was determined to raise as much money as possible for the Teenage Cancer Trust.
After the announcement, Team Dylan was born – a group of family and friends dedicated to supporting his fund-raising efforts and carrying on his legacy after his passing.
I know he was watching over us and will be really happy with the money we’ve raised through Team Dylan
At the weekend they held a charity ball at Durham’s Ramside Hall, which saw 300 people attend, including Dylan’s loving mum Sharon Ede, with more than £16,000 generated towards the trust.
Dylan’s girlfriend, Melissa Starkey, who helped organise the bash, said: “Dylan loved a good party and would have been so pleased to see so many people turn out in their tuxes and evening dresses, having a good time and raising lots of money for charity.
“I know he was watching over us and will be really happy with the money we’ve raised through Team Dylan.
“This is just the start and we’ll continue to raise as much money as we can for Teenage Cancer Trust in his memory.”
Melissa’s mum, Dawn Starkey, who was also involved in the organisation of the fund-raiser along with friend Alison Harkness, said: “It’s been months in the planning, but it all came together perfectly.
“We’d like to say a massive thank you to all the different businesses that volunteered their time and provided prizes for the various tombolas and raffles, as well as big thank you to everyone who bought a ticket to attend the ball.
“A great night was certainly had in memory of a true superhero, while raising lots of money for a very worthy cause.”
Upon receiving the news that his cancer was terminal, Dylan originally wanted to raise £1,000 for the Teenage Cancer Trust – the charity that had supported him and his family through his illness.
Speaking months before he died, Dylan told the Echo: “The tumour came back on my left lung and there is just no more treatment left.
“I’m just getting on with things.
“I haven’t set a target for fund-raising. I just want to do as much as possible.”
The first event Dylan organised was a North Sea Dip, followed by a mass ice bucket challenge, seeing the teenager smash his target and raise an amazing £7,000 in just a matter of weeks.
Speaking about the money collected in from the ball, Dawn added: “I’m delighted to say we raised a whopping £8,663.06.
“Added to that, with pound-for-pound match funding plus money raised from raffles leading up to the ball, the grand total from last night’s event is a staggering £16,663, meaning Dylan and those continuing to fund-raise in his memory have now raised about £40,000 for the Teenage Cancer Trust.”
Those wanting to donate to Team Dylan should go to http://bit.ly/TeamDylan.