‘I want to raise as much money as I can before I die’ – terminally ill teenager’s brave mission

Have your say

BRAVE cancer patient Dylan Knox is on a fund-raising mission after finding out his rare bone cancer cannot be cured.

The 18-year-old, from Houghton, wants to raise as much money as possible for charity before he dies.

Dylan Knox

Dylan Knox

Dylan, who has just celebrated his 18th birthday, was first diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma at the age of 12.

While friends were at school, Dylan was having gruelling sessions of chemotherapy and a 10-hour operation to remove a tumour from his left hip socket.

Sadly, the family found out four weeks ago that his latest round of treatment at Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary (RVI) was unsuccessful.

Now Dylan, his family and friends have set up Team Dylan to raise cash for the Teenage Cancer Trust (TCT).

Dylan said: “I am determined to enjoy life and at the same time raise money for the Teenage Cancer Trust, who have been a huge support to me and my family.

“We want to make sure they can continue to provide support to others.

“Team Dylan came about after discovering that my cancer was incurable.

“My friends and family rallied round and I suggested doing an ice bucket challenge to raise money.”

Supporters have planned a weekend of fund-raising, with a sponsored dip at Seaburn on Saturday, September 27, and a ice bucket challenge the following day at Houghton Cricket Club, from noon.

After the successful removal of a tumour at the end of 2010, Dylan, of Lime Avenue, Houghton, looked to be on the road to recovery.

But tests revealed that he had developed more tumours, this time behind his lungs.

Dylan’s mum Sharon Ede, 38, who also has sons Michael, 19, and Nathan, 11, said the TCT has been a lifeline for the family, even organising holidays.

She said: “The trust has been there for Dylan and the family.

“We were absolutely gutted when we found out his latest chemotherapy had been unsuccessful, because we had a glimmer of hope.”

Dylan, who wears a gold ribbon to raise awareness of teenage cancer, added: “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.”

Dylan’s girlfriend Melissa Starkey, 16, and her mum Dawn attend bootcamp sessions run by father-of-two Tony Rodda, who decided to organise the dip.

Devoted Dylan and Melissa, who have been together a year, support each other through his hospital appointments.

Tony said: “I have been very passionate about this event and raising as much cash as possible, as I have seen it at first hand how it affects the loved ones.

“It’s heartbreaking for Dylan and God only knows how he copes, but he does, and he is an inspirational young man.

“It made me consider my own girls and how lucky I am to have the two of them healthy and full of life. My girls are my life and it’s unthinkable to even imagine them suffering.”

For more information on the charity challenge, search for TCT North Sea Dip on Facebook.

Donations to Team Dylan can be made at http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/DawnStarkey.