Teenager recovering from cancer returns from world kayaking championship with ranking to match his age (From Darlington and Stockton Times)
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Teenager recovering from cancer returns from world kayaking championship with ranking to match his age
A TEENAGER who is recovering from cancer returned from the world kayaking championship with a world ranking to match his age.
Richard Pawley, from Richmond, North Yorkshire, was one of the youngest competitors in the 2013 Freestyle Kayaking Championships held in North Carolina, USA, and his performance in the squirt boating category of the event earned him a world ranking of 17 - the age he turned when he was out representing his country.
The generosity of family, friends and the local community helped raise £4,000 for Mr Pawley and his father to travel to the event.
His grandparents forfeited a holiday to put £2,000 towards his fundraising and he also received £200 and sponsorship from Broadacres, which runs the ABLE Day Centre in Colburn attended Mr Pawley’s brother Stephen, who has cerebral palsy.
Mr Pawley’s achievement is even more impressive as he is still receiving treatment to shrink a tumour in his nose that was discovered during a routine operation 18 months ago.
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 tumour not been detected during surgery it could have easily have burst at a later date and possibly proved fatal.
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 has fulfilled a lifetime dream and to be ranked 17th in the world at only 17 is fantastic. It has given me even more incentive to train hard for future events.
“I would like to thank everybody who raised money to allow me to compete; I couldn’t have achieved anything without them.”
Lynn Tompkinson, manager of the Able Day Centre, said: “We are all very proud of Richard and his big brother Stephen is especially pleased that he did so well.”
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