Teenager battling nose tumour jets to US for World Kayaking Championships (From Darlington and Stockton Times)
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Richmond teenager to compete in World Kayaking Championships despite battling tumour
A TEENAGER who just 18 months ago had an aggressive tumour removed has flown to the US to represent his country in a World Kayaking Championship.
Richard Pawley has been kayaking since he was two and in the last year has helped train wounded soldiers in the sport.
He will be one of the youngest competitors in the 2013 Freestyle Kayaking Championships in South Carolina next week.
The 16-year-old, from Richmond, North Yorkshire, is still receiving treatment to shrink the tumour found in his nose in November 2011.
He underwent a procedure to remove what doctors thought was a polyp but during surgery they realised he had Juvenile Angio Fibroma, an aggressive tumour.
It burst during surgery and doctors battled for 17 hours to stop the bleeding.
They said had the benign tumour not been detected during surgery it could have easily have burst at a later date and possibly proved fatal.
But it did not stop Richard from pursuing his ambitions and, and with the generosity of his family and the local community, he has raised the £4,000 needed for him to take part in the event from September 2 to 8.
He said: “My treatment is ongoing and the tumour is reducing slowly and apart from a few months in hospital it has thankfully not stopped me from kayaking.
“Competing in the world championships is all I have ever wanted to do so I am so grateful for the support I have received from my friends, family and the local community in allowing me to travel to America.”
His grandparents forfeited a holiday to give £2,000 towards his fundraising and he also received £200 from Broadacres Housing Association, which runs ABLE day care centre in Colburn attended by his brother Steven, who has cerebral palsy.
Lynn Tompkinson, manager of the ABLE day centre, said: “We have got to know Richard and his family through Steven’s attendance at the centre so we were only too happy to contribute to his fundraising campaign, and are proud of have our logo on his kayak.”
Richard will continue to volunteer with Help for Heroes and said he hopes to get a group of soldiers based in Catterick Garrison to a standard in kayaking where they can attend a coaching course and go on to teach themselves.
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