Brave Thomas inspires Limavady teachers’ charity run

Termoncanice teachers Christine Bonner and Angela Hislop with pupil Thomas Smyth.
Termoncanice teachers Christine Bonner and Angela Hislop with pupil Thomas Smyth.

Two teachers at a Limavady school have been so inspired by the ‘fighting spirit’ of a pupil they’ve laced up their trainers for charity.

Termoncanice pupil Thomas Smythe was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia on December 4th, 2015 at the age of six. Thomas is responding well to treatment and is receiving support from the charity , CLIC Sargent.

To see such a courageous wee boy, with such a fighting spirit and a hunger for life, really inspired us both to do something

Termoncanice teacher, Angela Hislop

His bravery has inspired Termoncanice P.S. teachers, Angela Hislop and Christine Bonner (Thomas’s P3 teacher), to run the Waterside Half Marathon on September 4th for Clic Sargent.

“Thomas returned to school for the last few weeks of term, and to see such a courageous wee boy, with such a fighting spirit and a hunger for life, really inspired us both to do something to show him that his entire school is behind him supporting him on his journey,” said Angela. “CLIC Sargent is a charity providing vital emotional, practical and financial support to young cancer patients and their families during and after treatment and so we thought it very fitting to run for this charity.”

Thomas’s mum, Gillian said: “Thomas’s treatment is overseen by the wonderful talented staff from the Haematology Unit at the Royal Victoria Hospital for Sick Children. Thomas had six months of constant treatment. During this time Clic Sargent support with Paul’s House (home from home) were very much appreciated as we live in the North West. The facilities were outstanding.”

Gillian says Thomas has responded well to treatment and is in remission.

“Thomas will continue to receive chemotherapy orally every day and have theatre every 12 weeks until February 2019. His blood is regularly checked at the hospital. He is a very brave, exceptional boy who faces this fight with such strength. The prayers, love and friendship that we received will never be forgotten by us. We are very proud of Thomas and love him very much,” said Gillian.

Termoncanice PS Principal, Christina Doherty said the school community is behind Thomas.

“Unfortunately this school year has shown only too clearly that cancer can occur at any age. We are very proud of Mrs Hislop and Mrs Bonner running to raise money for this very worthy cause and the whole school community is behind them,” said Mrs. Doherty.

Both teachers say they run for fun and to maintain a healthy lifestyle. They have both completed the Waterside Half Marathon a few years ago.

They say training has been a bit erratic, between school holidays and family distractions, but they’re confident they’ll reach the finish line in good shape. So far Angela and Christine have raised £1,020.

To donate go online at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Angela-Hislop