TWO young men will set off along the Cornish coast path this weekend with the aim of raising cash in honour of their best friend battling cancer.
Kieran Owen and Charlie Buckley have already raised almost £10,000 in their crowdfunding appeal for Barney Price, who in April was diagnosed with rare and aggressive types of cancer that had filled three quarters of his liver with tumours.
Kieran and Charlie will be joined by fellow members of St Cleer and Liskeard JFC U15s, Launceston Rubgy Club U15s, friends and family as they leave Harlyn Bay for the 10-mile hike to Bedruthan Steps.
Everyone on the path and supporting at home will be doing so in solidarity with Barney, who has been undergoing gruelling treatment at Bristol Children’s Hospital and at Derriford.
In the last week there has been a good news update from Barney’s family, who posted the following message on the crowdfunding page: “We are so pleased to announce that two scans during the last six weeks show consistent reduction in the size of the tumours.
“After many days and weeks of doubt and deliberation, Barney has been accepted for the transplant list! We can’t tell you how relieved we all are. There is still a long way to go for his recovery, but there is now light where there was only darkness.
“We feel humbled and so grateful for the kindness, generosity and support you have given us and other families.”
Money raised through the crowdfunding appeal will benefit two charities which support children with cancer and their families: Molly Ollys and Young Lives vs Cancer.
Barney hasn’t been able to go to school since the end of March because he has been too unwell, so Molly Ollys donated an Xbox and monitor to help distract and occupy him.
Barney said: “I am so grateful for the Xbox as it has meant I can keep in touch with Charlie and Kieran and other friends.
“I had to isolate for a long time because my immune system was so low from the chemo, so this has literally been my way of staying in touch with my mates and having some fun.”
The news of Barney’s illness has come as a huge shock to anyone who knows the active teenager who spends most of his week on the sports field.
Barney’s gruelling chemotherapy has left him weakened and in a wheelchair; he has lost his hair and feels very unwell. But photos show him smiling and making the most of the time he can get to spend outdoors and with his friends.
His mum Tory said: “The hardest thing is seeing your child deteriorate so quickly, especially when Barney was such a big, strapping, strong lad. But the treatment has to be harsh to target the tumours, and the clinical trial Barney is on is working, which is such a huge relief.
“We are having to take one day at a time, but the love and support from his friends has been just amazing and is keeping us all going.”
Keiran and Charlie’s sponsored walk will gather at the Harlyn Beach car park from 9am on Saturday (July 30) for a 10am departure. For details about transport and car parking – and to donate to the crowdfunding appeal, please visit www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/charlie-kieranforbarney