Christopher's father Patrick shares his son's story
In June 2002 it was confirmed that Christopher had a tumour in his left leg, just below the knee and after further tests he was diagnosed with osteosarcoma. Christopher took the news exceptionally well even though he was told he would have to have his left leg amputated above the knee and endure 8 months of chemotherapy.
A member of the London (YMC) and Liverpool Magic Circles, Christopher used his time in hospital to practice and improve his skills and entertain patients and staff when he was well enough to do so. Christopher never looked back, only forward and in November 2002, after completing his treatment he was fitted with an artificial limb. He made rapid progress with his new limb and by early 2003 was fitted with a state of the art limb enabling him to walk without the aid of crutches and carry on with as normal a life as possible. Whilst still recovering, Christopher went to Lourdes with his grandmother and after the first day expressed a wish to become a Helper, assisting those less fortunate than himself, which entailed pushing wheelchairs and assisting people during the day. In the evenings he would entertain holiday makers in the street with his magic tricks. In September 2003, Christopher returned to school to continue with his GCSE preparations and by November had found work at diners and in local restaurants as a magician, starting a career he hoped would take him through life. In December that year, he visited New York where he even managed to climb to the top of the Empire State Building. Everything seemed fine until March 2004 when he began complaining about pains in his thigh and back. He was re-scanned and it was found that the cancer had returned in his pelvis and he had secondary cancers in his lungs. He was diagnosed as being terminal with approximately three months to live. Again, Christopher took every opportunity to live life to the full and was determined to do everything that he could for as long as possible, taking holidays, day trips and entertaining with his magic when he was well enough.
Sadly on October 25th Christopher lost the fight to osteosarcoma and passed away peacefully with his family by his side.
The one thing that became apparent during his 2 year illness was the lack of research being carried out by the private sector or government. It would appear that osteosarcoma, being such a rare cancer killing approximately 150 to 200 teenagers a year in the UK, does not warrant funding by either of these bodies. Our aim is to raise money to directly research the cause and if possible, find a cure for osteosarcoma. Christopher was an inspiration to all with his strength and courage and fearless attitude and we hope our fundraising efforts will help prevent this cruel cancer from killing other teenagers. We would also like to try and heighten GP awareness of this cancer so that x-rays are carried out earlier with symptoms such as Christopher's thereby securing early diagnosis which may buy time to treat the tumours and hopefully save lives and limbs.