Friends of Darlington teenager raise funds for hospital cancer ward in his memory (From Darlington and Stockton Times)
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Friends of Darlington teenager raise funds for hospital cancer ward in his memory
THE friends of a 19-year-old man who died after a three year battle with leukaemia have raised money for the hospital ward where he was treated - by staging a head shaving and leg waxing event.
Michael McLaughlin, known to friends as Ches due to his resemblance to the Coronation Street character, died earlier this year from complications connected to a bone marrow transplant.
A charity event in his honour, held at his local pub, the Shuttle and Loom, in Whinfield, Darlington, raised more than £1,000 for the teenage cancer ward at Newcastle’s RVI Hospital.
Mr McLaughlin’s mother, Tracey, 41, was part of the event, wielding the clippers to shave the head of family friend Lainy Clifton and her sons, Lee and Ben.
Other friends of Mr McLaughlin had their legs and chests waxed, while the pub offered a range of fun day events for children.
Mr McLaughlin was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 16 and underwent chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
He also had a bone marrow transplant and was declared cancer free but, in a sad twist, the combination of steroids and drugs he had to take after the transplant weakened his kidneys and left him susceptible to infection.
Three weeks before his death he was admitted to hospital and, after he fell into a coma due to the infection, the decision was taken to switch off his life support machine on May 19.
Mrs McLaughlin, who is also mother to Jack, Danielle and Hannah, paid tribute to her son’s friends and the support their have given her family since his death.
She said: “His friends have been doing all sorts of charity stuff for Mikey. They are amazing, they are all finding it really hard but they are there for me and my family.”
Mrs McLaughlin said her son had hoped to become a gamekeeper and had refused to let cancer stop him living his life.
She added: “Even though he was ill he would still do what he wanted to do, he would go to the gym or play football with the lads. He always said it would not beat him.”
In total the family has raised more than £1,500 for the RVI with a series of fundraising events, which they hope to present to the hospital soon.
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