Friends from Antingham and Southrepps Primary School set off on their charity beach walk, to raise money for Addenbrookes children's cancer ward. Their friend, James Parsons (centre, purple hat) had a brian tumour removed there.
PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

Children stage Cromer-to-Mundesley onesie walk to help friend with brain tumour

Thursday, January 3, 2013
7.00 AM

Caring classmates of a north Norfolk boy diagnosed with a brain tumour have been sea-dipping and walking over the Christmas period to raise money for a children’s cancer ward.

10-year-old James Parsons visited Cromer beach last week to wave off a group of his schoolfriends as they set out on a 7.3 mile sponsored beach walk to Mundesley, wearing onesies.

Their sponsorship cash will help buy games and other distractions and amusements for James and his fellow young patients on the C2 Ward at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge.

The majority of the walkers were friends from Antingham and Southrepps Primary School where James is a pupil.

Brave James, from Thorpe Market, near Cromer, has undergone five operations to remove the tumour since he was diagnosed in September last year, according to his mum, Anne-Marie.

He had started getting headaches and sickness over the summer which gradually got worse and which doctors at first diagnosed as migraine.

But an optician raised the alarm while examining James, realising that there was high pressure behind one eye and something was blocking a nerve, said Mrs Parsons.

“They rushed him straight to Addenbrookes. He’s been remarkable through it all. Quite strong and matter of fact,” she added.

James, who has an older sister Jemma, 12, has already undergone chemotherapy treatment and is due for another course, plus radiotherapy.

His family hope he will have finished all his treatment in the spring.

Meanwhile his friends have already raised about £1,000 for Addenbrooke’s. Some took part in the Boxing Day dip off Cromer beach and a bigger group set off on Wednesday’s sponsored walk.

Aimee Powell, 10, and her cousin Poppy Spencer-Powell, 12, said they had got the walk idea while watching the BBC’s Children in Need appeal in November.

“We thought we’d like to help our friend so I thought of the onesie walk,” said Aimee.

The pair had joined forces with Boxing Day dippers Fred Cooper and Jess Loose, both 10, to pool their fund raising, said Aimee’s mum, Hayley Powell.

She added: “It’s really hit them. It has a big affect when it’s someone so close. We’re so proud of them. It’s so lovely that it’s all come from them. All we have done as adults is facilitate it.”

Mrs Parsons said the children’s response had been “fantastic.” They had visited James at home and brought him drawings.

“It’s so good that they wanted to do something not only to help James, but other children in hospital too,” she added.

● To support the appeal visit: www.justgiving.com/Hayley-Powell3