SCORES of people braved the icy waters of the North Sea in support of teenager Dylan Knox.
The courageous 18-year-old from Houghton, who has terminal cancer, wanted to hold a weekend of fund-raising for the Teenage Cancer Trust, TCT.
So, Team Dylan, made up of family and friends, donned fancy dress and swimming costumes to plunge into the sea off Seaburn this morning for a sponsored dip.
This will be followed by a fun day at Houghton Cricket Club tomorrow where members of Team Dylan will take part in a big group ice bucket challenge.
Although Dylan was under doctors orders not to take part, he was on the beach in fancy dress joining in the fun of the dip.
He said: “It is really good that everyone wanted to do this for me and it was something fun to look forward to.
“I have just found out that my old school, Kepier, has raised £2,500 for the charity. I am so pleased with that amount and would like to thank them.”
Dylan was first diagnosed with the rare bone cancer, Ewing’s sarcoma, at the age of 12. Gruelling sessions of chemotherapy and a 10-hour operation to remove a tumour from his left hip socket followed.
Sadly, doctors had to break the news in August that his latest round of treatment at Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary (RVI) was unsuccessful.
The teenager, of Lime Avenue, has vowed to raise as much money as he can for the TCT, which has supported him and his family over the years, before he dies.
Tony Rodda, a family friend and a member of Team Dylan, came up with the idea of organising the sponsored dip.
Dad-of-two Tony, said: “It is terrible to know what Dylan has had to go through over the years and everyone wanted to do whatever they could to support him.
“We thought of a few things, but decided on the dip. Running into the freezing cold water for a few minutes is nothing in the grand scheme of things.
“After such bad news people feel so helpless and all we can do is show Dylan that we are behind him and supporting him.”
Tony said all of Team Dylan want the TCT to be able to continue its work in supporting other young people and their families.
After the successful removal of a tumour at the end of 2010, Dylan, looked to be on the road to recovery, but tests revealed that he had developed more tumours, this time behind his lungs.
His mum Sharon Ede, 38, who also has sons Michael, 19, and Nathan, 11, said the TCT has been a lifeline for the family.
Donations to Team Dylan can be made at http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/DawnStarkey.