A TEENAGER’s story of his battle with cancer has inspired guests at a fundraising dinner to donate £15,000 to the hospital where he is receiving treatment.
Oran Kenyon, who was diagnosed with primary bone cancer in January 2013, spoke at Sheffield United’s 125th anniversary celebrations in aid of Weston Park Hospital Cancer Charity.
The 18-year-old from Doncaster underwent surgery to remove part of his pelvis, leaving him unable to walk for a year.
Despite this, he managed to pass 11 GCSEs and is now studying for his A-levels in the hope of becoming a teacher.
Oran told his story to an audience of 1,200 people at the Sheffield United event, where he spoke alongside club coach Chris Morgan, a patron of Weston Park Hospital Cancer Charity.
Oran was presented with a personalised Sheffield United shirt to mark his recent 18th birthday.
Sheffield United operations director Dave McCarthy said: “Oran’s story was remarkable and brought the audience to its feet.
“We had hoped the event would provide an opportunity to raise vital funds for the charity but we had never expected to receive such a response and to raise such an amount of money.”
Weston Park Hospital is one of four English cancer hospitals. This year its charity will help fund a variety of projects, including a new clinical research unit.
Tina Harrison, its deputy director, said: “We are absolutely overwhelmed by the support we received at the Sheffield United 125th anniversary dinner which helped raise an outstanding £15,000.
“Thanks to the generosity of people on the night and cancer patient Oran Kenyon, who told his brave story, we are able to continue funding vital projects which ultimately improves the treatment and care for over 60,000 cancer patients across our region.”
Oran’s mother Joanne and younger sister Kate put their best feet forward to raise funds to say thank you to the hospital by taking part in the Run In The Park on July 13, the culmination of the family’s toughest year.
In January last year, Oran visited his GP after suffering from severe back pain. Shortly afterwards, following tests, the teenager and his family received the shocking news that he had primary bone cancer.
Oran soon began an intensive treatment programme on Weston Park Hospital’s dedicated teenage unit, benefiting from the specialised environment and provisions made there for young cancer patients.
Mrs Kenyon said: “Nothing can prepare you for the devastating news that your child has cancer and there is no pain greater than watching your own child suffer.
“Without the incredible care and support from the staff, I doubt that Oran would have battled through in the same positive way.
“Kate and I are looking forward to striding out to support Oran’s ongoing battle with cancer.”
Despite his diagnosis, Oran managed to pass 11 GCSE exams and continue his education by enrolling for college.
Oran said he was determined to help raise awareness of Weston Park Hospital.