Get in touch: send your photos, videos, news & views by texting YORK to 80360 or send an email»
Last respects paid to Thomas Cammack
HUNDREDS of people gathered to say a final goodbye to Thomas Cammack, the four-year-old from Selby who lost his battle with cancer.
Selby Abbey was filled with friends, family and fundraisers who all wanted to pay tribute to the brave youngster, who died last week following a year-long fight against neuroblastoma.
Thomas was brought into the abbey in a blue coffin with a Buzz Lightyear floral tribute, to music from childrens’ cartoon The Gruffalo.
His older sister Emily, six, told the congregation: “Thomas is a nice boy. He likes Ben 10 and Batman and popcorn. He also likes mummy’s stories and songs. He likes his daddy’s truck and likes his big sister and brother.”
The service was conducted by the Rev John Weetman, who told the mourners: “I’m told Thomas loved to visit the Abbey and hear the sound of his voice echo around the building.”
Mark Clayton, chaplain of Martin House children’s hospice, read statements from Thomas’s parents, Toni Wood and Richard Cammack.
They said: “Thomas was a pleasure and he gave the loveliest cuddles and we will miss him more than words can say.
“Thomas’s fourth birthday was a memory all of us will hold dear. He had a great time at home surrounded by the whole family, eating party food, playing with his cousins, and dancing to Moves Like Jagger with his mummy.”
Three weeks ago, Thomas underwent surgery to remove a tumour from his brain and appeared to be recovering well, but only days later, an MRI scan found five new tumours on his brain, and his family spent his final week on a series of days out around the region together before he died at home last Wednesday.
Mr Weetman told the congregation that funds from the Thomas Cammack Appeal would “now benefit other children with the same illness”.
Collection bowls for the Appeal and Candlelighters placed around the Abbey were filled as the funeral procession left to the sounds of Moves Like Jagger, by Maroon 5 and Christina Aguilera.
Through Mr Clayton, Thomas’s parents also said: “From the moment Thomas was born, he was a character, always keeping us on our toes.
“There was always so much more to Thomas than being the Thomas Cammack that people know from the appeal. He was our little ray of sunshine, of which we had three.
“He was kind and thoughtful and loved being in the thick of it.
“He was a great playmate for Emily and Jack, and a great companion for any adult lucky enough to spend time with him.”
Before the funeral, Thomas’s mother posted on the appeal’s Facebook page: “Today is the day that we have to say goodbye to Thomas. A day of sadness, but a celebration of a life, the life of a little boy who touched the hearts of so many, who united a community and leaves behind a legacy of courage and bravery in the face of adversity.”
The posting also said “We will never forget that cheeky smile, the little determined expression when he meant business and most of all those precious little hugs” and “rest in peace little one, gone, but never ever forgotten”.
Thomas was buried at a private ceremony at Selby cemetery attended by close family and friends.