A FORMER teacher at Oscar Hughes’ old school has been appointed to run the charity set up in memory of the York youngster, who died of a brain tumour aged nine.

Phil Martinez’s appointment as manager of OSCAR’s Paediatric Brain Tumour Charity comes after Oscar’s mother Marie, who set up the charity and is CEO, stepped back from its day-to day running.

It also comes as 40 supporters, including Marie, prepare to scale Ben Nevis tomorrow to raise thousands of pounds for the charity.

Phil, who taught for two decades at Dunnington Primary School, said his mother, Patricia Martinez-Williams, died of a brain tumour in 2013, just under a year before Oscar - a pupil at the school - died of the same condition.

He said he was passionate about supporting the charity to help children receive early diagnosis and the best possible treatment, as well as provide support and care for families through difficult and confusing times.

“My mum was in the final stages of her life when she heard about Oscar and asked what she could do,” he said.

“She could barely do anything for herself but she wanted to do something for him. ‘We have got to help that poor, little boy, Philip’, she said to me. She was selfless to the last. And she was right – we had to help. 

“I didn’t want to lose someone else I knew to a brain tumour, and I felt a bond to the Hughes family - albeit a bond neither of us wanted - so I was involved in the fundraising drive to get Oscar better treatment in America.  

“But, in parallels to my mum, Oscar relapsed and was taken from us too soon. It is always too soon, no matter what your age. But nine is way too soon. Devastatingly too soon.

“When Marie, Ian and their friends set up the charity, I had to be involved. Like them I wanted to channel the sorrow for good. For Oscar but also for my mum. I wear an OSCAR’s wristband every day in their memory. I have been given the honour of the role of charity manager and taken it with pride and gratitude and will strive to do even more.”


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He said the charity’s Family Challenge, sponsored by John King Laser, will involve 40 brave climbers scaling the UK’s tallest mountain – Ben Nevis in Scotland - a harder and longer challenge than previous climbs of Snowdon and Scafell.

Oscar’s mother Marie, who lost another son, Milo, to a brain tumour will climb the mountain with her 12-year,old son Lucas. 

Marie, who is formerly of Dunnington but has now returned to her native Denmark, said: “This will not be easy for us, but we will do it in memory of Lucas’ brothers, knowing our struggles on the mountain is nothing compared to the struggles Oscar and Milo went through throughout their treatment years.”

l To sponsor them, go to https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/marie-lucas-ben-nevis2022, while companies wishing to sponsor future events email phil@oscarspbtc.org