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Connor Steventon leaves charitable legacy

THE memory of a boy who died from cancer last month will live on with plans to form a charity in his name.

Connor Steventon, 13, died on March 19 after a two-year battle with cancer.

>> Connor Steventon, 13, loses brave battle with cancer

20 March 2008

His courage throughout his illness inspired many and an appeal to pay for treatment raised thousands.

In recognition of this, Connor's mum Tracy Mason has agreed for his name to be put forward in the Flybe Pride in Mann campaign in the spirit of youth category.

'He touched so many people, it was a real honour to be his mummy,' Tracy said.

Despite his young age and his illness Connor packed a lot into his life, meeting celebrities including Sir Alex Ferguson and McFly and struck up a friendship with Big Brother 2006 winner Pete Bennett after meeting him courtesy of the charity Dreams Come True.

As a special surprise for his birthday on March 1, film star Zac Efron – in the Island to make Me and Orson Welles – paid him a visit.

Tracy explained: 'About six weeks before his birthday I thought; "He is going to be 13, what can I do that's really special?" He had everything, didn't want or need anything and was mad about High School Musical.'

'When I saw on iomtoday that Zac was coming over I thought we have got to make that happen somehow. Before his birthday he had started to go downhill, sleeping a lot, and I thought we would have a High School Musical party and asked Zac to come and surprise him.'

When it seemed as if Connor wouldn't get to meet his idol, Tracy drafted in Pete Bennett, who stayed with the family in the days before Connor's birthday.

Tracy was preparing for his party at Union Mills Football Club on February 28 when she received a call to say Zac would meet Connor at the family home in Strang Close, Braddan.

'Connor's little eyes nearly fell out of his head,' Tracy recalled.

His schoolfriends joined his five siblings and other relatives at the party.

'Although he wasn't well and didn't feel up to it, we managed to get him free of his pumps and syringe drivers,' Tracy explained.

'He had his party but had to leave early and a lot of the time he was dozing in his wheelchair but it was lovely for his friends.'

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CONNOR was just 11 when, in April 2006, he was diagnosed as having a desmoplastic small round cell tumour.

The rare cancer affects the soft cells, muscles and fat.

In August 2006 it was decided his fifth spell of chemotherapy would be his last. After six months without treatment the tumours had shrunk and it was hoped he could have surgery to remove as much of them as possible before trialling a combination of three drugs.

But last May he was taken ill and was admitted to the children's ward at Noble's Hospital, Braddan, where he stayed until the end of July.

'In May last year he was admitted to Noble's Hospital and it wasn't so much the cancer, it was the way it was growing on his nerve endings which was giving him the most pain,' Tracy said. 'He ended up on a ridiculous amount of medication. It was a hard time – that's what made it more important to make things happen to cheer him up.'

When he was discharged he was given just weeks to live.

'He still managed to keep bouncing back and bouncing back. Everyone has been amazed with him,' Tracy said.

In October, 15,000 from Connor's Medical Fund, set up to pay for treatment for his condition, was donated to Rebecca House children's hospice where a room has been named after him.

Further presentations from the fund are due to be made this week.

The remaining cash will be kept in the account. The fund will be renamed Connor's Causes and will be registered as a charity.

Tracy thanked all who helped during Connor's illness, the community nurses who were most involved in his care, the district nurses who provided weekend cover, children's ward and hospice staff and the ambulance crews who took him to the hospice and hospital.

 
 
 

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