Angmering grandmother's pride as grandson, 10, raises thousands following her cancer diagnosis
A ten-year-old boy whose grandmother was diagnosed with a rare form of eye cancer has been inspired by her to organise a charity bike ride.
On Saturday, April 13, Callum Smith will be cycling 87 miles from his home in Butlers Cross, Buckinghamshire, to Sue Harris’ house in Angmering.
His initial target was £50, before his mother Jennie Smith convinced him to up it to £100. But with over a week to go, he has blown this figure out of the water, raising more than £2,200 as of Tuesday.
He said: “I’m just over the moon. I can’t believe it.”
When asked why he was doing the bike ride for his grandmother, he said: “Because I love her.”
Sue was diagnosed with ocular melanoma in January last year. It affects around 600 people a year in the UK, and only three centres in the country can treat it: Liverpool, Glasgow, and London.
Callum’s chosen charity is OcuMel UK, which is run by eye cancer patients and their families to support others affected by the illness and to improve treatment.
The 75-year-old magistrate said she was ‘completely taken aback’ when she heard what Callum was doing.
She said: “It did reduce me to tears.
“I am very, very proud of him and deeply touched, especially that he is only 10 and he thought up the idea himself.”
Sue first noticed a brown spot in her left eye around two years ago and went to get it checked at her local opticians – but the cancer is so rare that it was overlooked initally.
Months later, when it changed shape, she decided to get a second opinion – and was sent to Moorfields Eye Hospital in London where she was diagnosed and treated using a focused form of radiotherapy.
Sue said her cancer was under control, and was not growing – and she was having regular scans in London to make sure it did not spread to her liver, which occurs with ocular melanoma.
Callum and Jennie will be doing the ride together over two days, stopping off in Guildford.
To greet her grandson and daughter, Sue will be putting up flags at the finish line.
She said: “The message I want to get out there is that everyone should get an eye test every two years with dilation drops, so these things can be picked up early.”
To donate, visit justgiving.com/fundraising/callum-smith09