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Thursday, 21 August 2014

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Ferrari and flying treat for Carlisle cancer survivor, 10

A young cancer survivor had the biggest smile in the city after experiencing a day he would never forget.

Carl Hickson photo
Carl Hickson

As he roared into Carlisle Airport in a Ferrari yesterday, Carl Hickson’s grin was evident for miles.

The 10-year-old, from Harraby, Carlisle, was about to board a plane for a specially-arranged flight over the city, after being picked up from Norman Street School in the sports car. All the events were kept as a surprise which added to his delight.

He was joined by second cousins Dale, nine, and Dominic Wardlow, 11, and best friend Shaun Weir, 10, who were being driven in an Aston Martin, a McLaren and an Ariel Atom.

After the flight the friends were then taken for lunch at the White Heather at Kirkbride, near Wigton, a tour of the M-Sport racing headquarters near Cockermouth and then onto Rowrah in West Cumbria for go-karting.

To finish the day off they had a small party for friends and family at the Aztec Play Centre on Crown Street, Carlisle.

Carl was diagnosed in September with synovial sarcoma – an extremely rare form of cancer affecting between one in a million and one in three million people.

He had been a patient at the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle, where he underwent chemotherapy.

The trip had been organised as a special treat for Carl, a reward for his bravery throughout the ordeal.

Carl said: “The best bit so far was going in the Ferrari because I have never been in one before. I wasn’t really expecting anything like this to happen to me. I want to say thank you to the people who have put this on for me.”

Mum Paula said: “It was just a fun day for him because he has been through so much. But because he has been so poorly it has been months in the planning.

“When we told them what they were going to do they were blown away.”

She paid tribute to her brave son, adding: “All the way through he has never cried or moaned, he has just got on with it. He has been so brave it is unbelievable.”

The event was organised by the Geoff Brown Charitable Trust, which helps children with critical or terminal illnesses get a dream day or holiday.

Carl’s family contacted Geoff who then put in a few calls and with a little help from his friends managed to arrange the day.

Geoff said: “I wanted to do something for Carl because of the fact that he has had cancer and has gone through so much. If you could have seen their faces [when we surprised him] at school, it was great. We thought that this would be a good way of giving him a buzz. Memories are there for everyone, they can’t be taken away.”

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