An ‘amazingly brave’ boy who lost his fight to cancer has been remembered with a balloon release on what would have been his 18th birthday.
Kieran Anderson was just eight years old when he passed away following a three-and-a-half-year battle with neuroblastoma.
Now almost 10 years on from his death in 2007, pupils at his former school - Dame Dorothy Primary School in Sunderland - marked what would have been the day of his 18th birthday with a balloon release.
Kieran’s mum Victoria Peebles, from Horatio Street, Roker, attended the event along with partner Steven Peebles and her children, Natasha, 21, Darren, 20, Stephanie, nine, Errin, eight, and Jimmy six.
“He was just an amazingly brave and special boy,” she said.
“I asked the school months ago if they wanted to do something to mark the occasion and as they still have teachers there who taught Kieran, they were happy to join in.
“It was very emotional, and even the younger ones who didn’t know him felt it.
“We had five children from each year group at the school release a balloon.
“We had kept some of Kieran’s ashes after he was cremated, which we had put a little in each balloon to be released so Kieran can still travel the world.”
As part of Kieran’s lasting legacy, every Christmas since his death, Kieran’s mum, and other family members arrange a collection, mainly of selection boxes and sweets to give to the children’s wards of the Royal Victoria Infirmary (RVI), in Newcastle, where the youngster was treated, and Sunderland Royal Hospital.
Last year, a record number of items were donated, with over 900 being handed in.