THE parents of courageous York schoolboy Jamie Inglis have announced that a public celebration of his life will be held at York Minster.
Seven-year-old Jamie – who died a week ago after suffering an infection while undergoing treatment for the childhood cancer neuroblastoma – was flown back from Germany to the UK on Saturday.
A celebration of Jamie’s life is planned for the Minster in early February, when Jamie will be carried by horse-drawn carriage from his school, Lord Deramore’s Primary in Heslington, to the Minster.
Speaking from Martin House children’s hospice in Boston Spa, where Jamie’s body is resting, his mum Vicky said: “Jamie will always be seven. He will never have neuroblastoma. He will always be that smiley seven-year-old cheeky boy.”
Jamie passed away with his parents by his side after he became critically ill and his lungs were irretrievably damaged when he suffered an infection due to his low immune system, which resulted from the treatment. He had been officially clear of cancer.
Jamie’s parents John and Vicky have appealed to people to continue fundraising in his memory and have spoken movingly of how their son’s legacy will benefit other children battling the disease.
They hope continued fundraising will benefit others including Jamie’s friends Ryan Edwards and Robyn Higgins.
John said: “Those children are all putting up their own tenacious fights as Jamie did. They have all got their own troubles and complications and risks, the same as Jamie did, but they’ve got a chance now.”
John and Vicky, who live in Kelfield and have a three-year-old daughter, Poppy, said they are overwhemed by the efforts of fundraisers to pay for Jamie’s treatment and by the hundreds of messages of condolence they have received.
John said: “It almost feels like the thousands of people out there are having the same highs and lows we are. They are living the experience with us.
“For Jamie to do so well and to get to that pinnacle and then suddenly to fall from that pedestal is such a bitter disappointment. We have realised how many other people wanted him to do so well. That does give us comfort.
“Please don’t give up on this cause. There are still Jamies out there, there are dozens of little Jamies out there, and their families need the same support we did.”
Vicky said: “Jamie’s legacy is too big just to say that it’s over. Part of what has happened is over but the only way that we can cope is by seeing it as is the beginning of something new.
“Neuroblastoma is not a death certificate because some children do get through it. That’s why you can’t give up on it.”
The celebrations at the Minster will include some of Jamie’s favourite songs as well as hymns and readings from his godparents and relatives and will feature photographs of Jamie and some of his artwork.
At the end of the ceremony it is hoped some of Jamie’s friends will help to release doves outside the Minster.
Vicky said they felt it was especially important to make it a memorable and happy occasion in honour of Jamie’s memory and for any children at the ceremony and Jamie’s sister Poppy.
They have invited the public to attend the service. Further details will be included in The Press.
Donations can be made to Jamie’s Appeal – through Neuroblastoma Alliance – by visiting justgiving.com/jamiesappeal