Fundraisers to take to the skies for battling Sunderland youngster Oliver Maw

Fundraisers are taking to the skies to help raise vital funds for battling Sunderland youngster Oliver Maw.

Tuesday, 2nd August 2022, 3:39 pm

The seven year old Diamond Hall school pupil from Millfield is fighting neuroblastoma after being diagnosed with stage 4 of the childhood cancer in February last year.

He is currently undergoing treatment at Newcastle’s RVI but, with a high risk of relapse, the community has rallied round to raise the £260,000 needed for a potentially life-saving vaccine treatment.

The pioneering treatment is only available in the US and, so far, family, friends and kind-hearted well wishers have all helped raise funds, which now total more than £106,000.

Fundraising continues for Oliver Maw

The latest fundraiser will see a team of seven colleagues from Aldi in Carley Hill, including Oliver’s aunt Alysa Wilson, who is assistant manager at the store, take on a skydiving feat from Shotton Airfield on September 1.

Alysa said: “Following the devastating news Oliver began treatment for his cancer at the Royal Victoria infirmary in Newcastle and also the Royal Marsden Hospital in London.

"Oliver is now nearly 18 months into his fight against this horrible, frightening and cruel disease. He has had to endure regular debilitating courses of chemotherapy which at times have made him extremely unwell requiring long stays in hospital.

"Despite this, it is truly amazing how strong and brave Oliver remains, overcoming all the obstacles and challenges nature puts in his way and, not wanting to tempt fate, but the family now feel that they are finally beginning to see a small ray of light at the end of a very long dark tunnel. All being well, Oliver is due to complete his treatment in December 2022, hopefully cancer free.”

Oliver and his brothers with the Aldi skydive team, including aunt Aylsa Wilson, front centre

Oliver, who is an identical triplet, lives with brothers Owen and Oscar, big sister Lily and mum Phillipa.

His uncle, Peter Wilson, who’s also taken on a number of fundraising activities including the Three Peaks Challenge, says the close-knit family has been touched by the support of the community.

Peter, who is crew manager for Sunderland Central Community Fire Station, said: “Unfortunately, this cancer has a high relapse rate so we are doing all we can to give him the best chance.

"Fundraising has been going really well and hopefully that will keep going. We can't believe the generosity of strangers, and are so grateful. Every pound raised is a pound closer to the vaccine.”

Oliver's treatment continues

Speaking about how the schoolboy has dealt with the illness, he said: “Oliver’s cancer was already rare and then he had a mutation in the tumour, which makes it even more rare, and he had to go to London for further treatment which seems to have been successful.

"Every challenge that is thrown at him, he knocks it out of the park. We can’t fault the NHS, they have been fantastic, but it is hard for the family. When he’s in hospital he’s surrounded by adults, so he loves coming home and seeing his brothers and sister, they keep him and his outlook on life young.”

You can sponsor the Aldi skydiving team at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Nicole-Morris15 or donate to the overall fund here www.justgiving.com/campaign/Oliversfightagainstneuroblastoma

Oliver with his mother Phillipa
Oliver with brothers Owen (L) and Oscar (R)