Snooker marathon raises £1,200 for Blaise’s ‘bucket-list’ ahead of Disneyland Paris trip (From York Press)
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Snooker marathon raises £1,200 for Blaise’s ‘bucket-list’ ahead of Disneyland Paris trip
A LITTLE boy whose family started a “bucket list” for him after being told he has only months to live is heading to Disneyland.
Six-year-old Blaise Etheridge-Clarke, of Rawcliffe, has undergone surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy for tumours on his brain and spine, but in the summer doctors told the family there is nothing more they can do to help him.
After his family decided to grant Blaise as many of his wishes as possible - which included a trip to Legoland, getting guinea pigs, and taking a trip to the beach - they have been overwhelmed by well-wishers offering to help.
And they were especially taken aback when a snooker event raised £1,200, which combined with donations from other supporters, will allow Blaise, his parents, Theresa and Tony, and his brothers to go to Disneyland Paris.
Theresa, a nurse at St James’s Hospital in Leeds, said there have been some signs of deterioration in Blaise’s health and she said this would be their last major excursion before Blaise was likely to need to start taking life a bit more slowly.
It will be Blaise’s second trip to Paris. In 2010, people raised money for Blaise so he could visit Disneyland after being diagnosed with the illness. Theresa said Blaise regularly talks about their last visit.
She said: “We are going for the last time and know it will make Blaise a happy little boy. We didn’t think we would go again. It breaks my heart every day, especially when he is in pain – I feel sick to the stomach. Because we have had things to look forward to it has kept us going.
“I don’t want not regret not doing things. I’m glad we have been able to do these things and it’s thanks to these lovely people.”
Theresa took Blaise to the event at Heworth Conservative Club, which was organised by James Kilmartin and sponsored by Adrian Barraclough.
Mr Kilmartin and Roland Cox took part in a 24-hour snooker marathon and including challenge matches against leading professional snooker players Mike Dunn, Gary Wilkinson, Simon Bedford and David Grace.
Other money raising challenges included a speed ten red clearance, which was won by Steve “Blistering” Burdett in 53 seconds and a raffle including top prizes. In addition, 2010 World Champion Neil Robertson signed a portrait painted by David Grace which raised £260.
A substantial donation was also raised for Brain Tumour Research.
Mr Kilmartin said: “The support has been overwhelming and it shows how much can be achieved when a community pulls together.”
Blaise, who was The Press Community Pride Awards child of the year in 2010, has also recently been on a VIP trip to Legoland donated by the York-based Superbreak and was also invited to RAF Linton-on-Ouse, where he and his brothers went on a flight simulator.