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Customers rally round Sumner

CUSTOMERS and friends of a Middleton shop have helped a squash prodigy battling a brain tumour.


They used Sunday’s village fête to present the latest £400 of their £1,600-plus fundraising total for 11-year-old Sumner Malik.


The presentation from Gifts With Love will help to pay for Sumner’s ongoing private chemotherapy for his rare form of tumour.


Sue Ladley, the owner of Gifts With Love, said: “We were very pleased to help this young lad and are so grateful for the generosity of both friends and our customers who have so far raised over £1,600.”


The latest fundraiser saw cakes sold at the fête, which Malik and his family attended to thank those involved.


Sumner, of Handcross, is one of a set of triplets and is one of the brightest squash players of his generation.


He was diagnosed when he was ten with a diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma – a terminal, paediatric form of brain tumour.


Only 40 cases of DIPG are diagnosed a year in the UK. There is no confirmed cure and a non-existent survival rate.


But his father, Camron, said: “There is hope and everyone at Gifts With Love has been absolutely amazing in helping us.”


The link between the families came through squash and was typical of the response Camron said had greeted the family’s £80,000 fundraising appeal on  the JustGiving website.


“I didn’t even know three of the people I met at the fête,” he said. “It  just goes to show the kindness these ladies and customers have shown to Sumner. It was really nice to see them.


“A lot of other people are fundraising for him as well by doing different things. The treatment is very expensive. But we just can’t do nothing,” he said.


Each of Sumner’s monthly infusions of chemotherapy costs £6,000 at the Harley Street Clinic in London as well as the associated costs of each two days of treatment.


“Hopefully, this is giving Sumner extra time,” said Camron. “None of this treatment exists on the NHS. All they will tell us to do is to go home and just make some memories.


“Since Sumner has been treated, his tumour has shrunk by around 25 per cent. No-one is saying they will get rid of it or cure it but they are saying they will prolong his life.”


The next stage of his treatment was set to be immunotherapy.


“But, without these ladies, and everyone else who is helping us, we would not be able to consider them,” said Camron.

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