Best pals, 12, share isolation tips to support Race for Life at Home to raise funds
Two 12-year-old best friends forced apart because their chemotherapy left them prone to infection are sharing tips on coping with isolation during the coronavirus lockdown.
Oliver Doughty and Lucas Newton are patients at Addenbrooke’s Hospital - Oliver is half-way through treatment for acute lymphoblastic leukaemia while Lucas was given the all clear after treatment for Burkitt Lymphoma.
They supported each other during treatment and were due to meet until coronavirus intervened. Now they are sharing tips on how to exercise in isolation as they support Cancer Research UK’s (CRUK) Race for Life at Home challenge.
The lifelong pals live in Elmswell, Suffolk, play in the same football team, and thanks to their dads, the pair play keepie uppie with each other.
Man City fan Oliver said: “Lucas is my best friend, we have known each other for ages, and since we both got diagnosed we have become even closer. Isolation is difficult but you have to keep busy. I go into the garden and play football, I’ve been practising and I have reached 100 - it’s good to know Lucas is doing the same in his garden.”
And Spurs fan Lucas said: “Oliver is my best friend and was someone I could talk to about things no-one else understood. We went through it together and helped each other. The best advice for isolation is to keep yourself busy, find something to do and make sure you do it.”
Cambridge’s Race for Life on July 5 was cancelled and organisers are inviting participants to join the Race for Life at Home and share experiences using the hashtag #RaceForLifeAtHome.
Patrick Keely, CRUK’s Cambridge spokesperson, said: “It’s fantastic to see Lucas and Oliver lending their support. We’d love supporters to join us and Race for Life at Home - from a run or 5k walk around the garden to limbo in the living room, there is no wrong way to Race for Life at Home.
“With no entry fee, people might choose to twerk, limbo, star jump, squat, skip, dance, or come up with their own novel way of taking part and share it with friends. If the idea takes off, we could be looking at hundreds of people stepping forward to Race for Life at Home and perhaps collecting sponsorship to do so.”
Oliver’s dad Chris said: “Oliver and Lucas have been through so much together. It’s heart-breaking to see such close friends still apart after the difficult and long journey they have gone through.”
And Scott, Lucas’s dad, added: “We are all so very proud of them both. They used to talk about their treatment which was fantastic but also shocking when you hear your 12-year-old son and his best friend talking about cancer as if it was normal.”
Visit raceforlife.org or call 0300 123 0770 for details.
More by this authorJohn Downing
This website and its associated newspaper are members of the Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO)