Family and friends urge runners to tackle 10k in memory of Tom
FAMILY and friends of a Bristol teenager who died from cancer are urging people to join a 10k run to raise money towards a dedicated teenage cancer unit.
They only found out that Tom Hunt, from Ashton Vale, had bone cancer when he accidentally broke his arm in 2006.
Then 15, he was playing with his dog at Ashton Court when the accident happened – with the subsequent X-ray showing up the cancer.
The devastating news was life changing for Tom, his family and friends.
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Tom immediately became a patient at Bristol Children's Hospital and, in 2007, he went into remission.
He credited part of his healing process to the excellent standard of care he received there.
But in 2009 a cancerous tumour appeared on one of Tom's lungs.
An operation to remove the tumour was successful but treatments to prevent further occurrences failed.
During this period, Tom was treated as an adult cancer patient at the Bristol Royal Infirmary and Bristol Oncology Centre as he was then 19 years old.
While there Tom did not feel like his needs as a teenager were well catered for.
Sadly, Tom lost his battle with cancer on Boxing Day 2010.
After his death Tom's family and friends set up the Tom Hunt Trust – a charity aimed at raising money towards a teenage cancer unit in Bristol.
As the Post reported last month, the board of the University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust (UHBristol) recently gave the go-ahead for a £16 million project to expand Bristol's cancer centre to make room for a teenage cancer unit.
A planning application has already been submitted to Bristol City Council for the proposed extension to Bristol Haematology and Oncology Centre (BHOC) in Horfield Road.
The Tom Hunt Trust is backing the plans and is determined to raise money to support it.
The charity wants to make Tom's dream for a unit where teenagers have the opportunity to be around their peers, build friendships and enjoy their time, a reality.
To help raise money, the charity is appealing for people to join a 10k run or walk along the Portway in Bristol on Saturday, July 7 at 10am.
It was organised by Dynamic BootCamp, after its director Sandy Donnelly met Tom's mum Colleen.
To book a place participants are asked to pay £20. Visit www.tomhunttrust.co.uk.