Sunderland school set to hold a ‘superhero day’ to raise money for six-year-old pupil battling stage four neuroblastoma
Diamond Hall Infant Academy are to hold a “superhero day” in honour of six-year-old triplet Oliver Maws who is battling stage four neuroblastoma.
On February 19, six-year-old Oliver Maw was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, a rare form of childhood cancer that has a high relapse rate despite treatment.
His diagnosis meant that he was separated from his identical brothers Owen and Oscar while receiving treatment at Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary, Oliver is fighting through gruelling rounds of chemotherapy ahead of an operation to remove the tumour in his stomach.
As his treatment continues, Oliver’s mum Phillipa Maw and her family, with the help of the Bradley Lowery Foundation, are trying to fundraise £230,000 to pay for a vaccine which is designed to reduce the chances of cancer returning – but is only available abroad.
In an effort to raise more money, Oliver’s school, Diamond Hall Infant Academy are to hold a “superhero day” on Wednesday, July 7 – with the theme around Oliver and his brother being superheros for everything they are going through.
The school have set up an online fundraiser and deputy headteacher, Laura Park, has revealed what activities the children will be doing on the day.
She said: “The children will come into school in non-uniform and they will be transformed into superheroes over the course of the day.
"They are going to make their own masks, capes and then even decide on their own superpower.
"With Oliver being a triplet, there is a theme of three throughout the day with the children taking part in a collaborative three mile walk, the bell will ring at three random times with the children having to sing and dance plus individual teachers will be doing their own things.
"We just wanted to do something to support Oliver’s family as he is our superhero but wanted to show the pupils that his brothers are also superheroes too.”
The Diamond Hall Infant Academy pupil lost his appetite, couldn’t keep food down and was enduring hot sweats through the night by early December and 39-year-old Phillipa took the then five-year-old to the doctors.
Then a lump began to develop under his arm and Oliver was rushed to A&E in early 2021.
On behalf of the family, aunt Joanne Maw commented: “It is great that Oliver’s school are now involved with the fundraising.
"Mrs Park has spoke to me about it and I think that is brilliant, we can’t thank them enough, it is really emotional.
"Off the back of this, we’ve now had contact from some parents who are also wanting to help us out.
So far, more than £15,000 of the £230,000 total has been raised which will pay for the vaccine.
It is only administered in New York although it is hoped the vaccine will become available in Barcelona, Spain, later this year before Oliver’s treatment is finished.
The family – including aunt Aylsa, uncle Peter and grandmother Valerie – have joined together to support Oliver and fundraise with Oliver's older sister Lily, 13, and aunt Joanne having already completed a sponsored 22.5km walk.