James Marshal, sadly lost his lifetime battle with an inoperable brain tumour on 29 May 2012 just a few days before his 11th birthday.
This trip was called the Magical Taxi Tour.
We (and another family) were driven from Middlesbrough Police HQ by 2 black cab taxi's from Edinburgh that were driven by Neil McCulloch, his Dad Bob, and Jim down to London's Canary Wharf ready for the BIG Breakfast launch the morning after.
What followed was truly magical.
My aim is to raise £1250 to sponsor a taxi to take 2 more terminally ill children to Disneyland Paris later this year for these kids to have what could be the time of their lives. The taxi will have James' name on the side, as he loved his toy cars so much what could be better than to have a real car in his memory?
It is yet to be confirmed, but we are hoping that it can be arranged for Neil McCulloch, who was our driver, will drive the taxi too. He has said it will be a great honour for him.
My challenge is to complete 100 miles of events. We have places in the Great North Run. I also intend to run from home to Redcar lifeboat station which is approx 12 miles on 26 May (as close to his anniversary as possible), run the 10k Great Trail Challenge in Keswick on 9 June (the day before his birthday), run the Middlesbrough 10k, and also run the RAF Spadeadam Border Reivers Half Marathon in October. I also plan to walk from Whitby to Saltburn along the coast which is over 20 miles. To complete my challenge there will be more events.
My husband Dave Welby will be accompanying me on these events too. Unfortunately due to serving in the RAF and being posted to the Falkland Islands over the summer he will miss a number of the events, but we will look into him doing alternative events whilst he is out there, or when he returns if need be.
Last year the support we received was unbelievable and we raised over £3000. Please, we ask you again for you support in memory of my truly amazing and inspirational little boy.
For those who don't know James' story... he battled with a massive brain tumour since before he was born. He was diagnosed with an inoperable tumour that had invaded a third of his brain when he was just a baby of 6 months old. Since that day, 20 December 2001, he had to endure 4 long years of chemotherapy and a 6 week course of daily radiotherapy as the tumour kept regrowing after each course of treatment, and had to spend much of his life in hospital or in isolation due to his lack of immune system. The tumour and treatment had left James registered blind and disabled along with a range of what the medical teams called 'complex needs'. Back in September 2010 we were told there were no more options for treatment and with the tumour growing again his condition was terminal.
James was a precious and very popular boy who melted the hearts of everyone he met. There was close to 300 people at his funeral service! He never once complained, even through all of his years of treatment, and was always polite. After each of his traumatic procedures he would say "Thankyou" to all the nurses. He was never naughty. He always had a smile and a giggle. He could recite the alphabet backwards faster than I can say it forwards! He could read and type braille. He was a pleasure. He was clever, he was amazing, and he was funny. He was my son. And now I have a gaping hole where he once was.
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