Fund-raising fun day set to be held in Lowestoft as people rally round for 'wonderful' Ollie Gray
PUBLISHED: 14:57 26 September 2014 | UPDATED: 14:57 26 September 2014
People in Lowestoft are being urged to rally round in support of a brave nine-year-old, who is battling Leukaemia, as a charity fun day is held this weekend.
The Ollie Gray fund-raiser will take centre stage at Gunton Park on Sunday, as Lowestoft and Yarmouth rugby club host a charity fun day.
Ollie, from Oulton, has Down’s Syndrome – but in 2010 he was diagnosed with acute lymphatic leukaemia. After undergoing two-and-a-half years of chemotherapy, the brave youngster came through the treatment and was in remission.
But after 18 months of enjoying time with his family, the brave youngster’s parents Jamie and Claire were told that Ollie had relapsed.
For the past five weeks, Mr and Mrs Gray have remained at their son’s bedside at the Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge – and closer to home, the Lowestoft community has been rallying around to help raise funds.
So far more than £2,500 has been raised, and Sabrina Staniforth told The Journal: “The community spirit that has been shown has been wonderful – I am overwhelmed.
“Everyone has pulled together to make this possible and we are really looking forward to Sunday and raising funds for Ollie – so come along and make a difference.”
The fun day at L&Y will include an auction, raffle, stalls, games, family fun, food and refreshments. A spokesman for L&Y said: “We are hosting the fun day to help a wonderful little boy suffering from Leukaemia – little Ollie Gray, who is the son of former L&Y player and paramedic Jamie Gray.
“Ollie is a beautiful little boy with Down’s Syndrome who also contracted Leukaemia some time ago. After a fight, and with some amazing care, he seemed to have beaten this horrible condition, but it has suddenly resurfaced and he is now in Addenbrooke’s.”
With the family “overwhelmed” by support from the Lowestoft community, Ollie’s brother Archie, eight, and sister Lexie, five, are both dealing with this situation “incredibly well” according to Mrs Gray.
She said: “We have been overwhelmed by support from our family and friends and also people who don’t even know us, but have heard of Ollie’s fight.
“Ollie was first diagnosed in September 2010 and he underwent two-and-a-half years of chemotherapy. Between the love and support of our family and friends Ollie came through the treatment and was in remission. We spent a lovely 18 months doing normal things as a family being able to mix in crowds again with Ollie going to the Warren School without having to worry about coming into contact with infection and holidays abroad. We went to Florida with our family to celebrate the end of Ollie’s treatment where we all had the best time.
“Unfortunately while we were camping in France we noticed bruising on Ollie’s legs and as the worry never goes away we took him to a local hospital where it was confirmed that Ollie had relapsed,” she added. “We were all totally numb – he started treatment in France and spent four frightening days in hospital there when he was stable enough to travel home we got him to Addenbrooke’s were we have been for the last five weeks.”
With Ollie’s Down’s Syndrome complicating his treatment further, studies have shown that his body is less likely to be able to tolerate the even higher toxicity of the drugs that he needs to be given.
Mrs Gray said: “But our little boy has proven nothing more than that he is a fighter. We have been overwhelmed by support from our family and friends and also people who don’t even know us but have heard of Ollie’s fight.”
■ The Ollie Gray fund-raiser takes place between 2pm and 5pm on Sunday at L&Y, and to help make a difference you can attend and donate on the day or online via www.pitchero.com/clubs/lowestoftyarmouth/