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Toby’s magical mission to help kids fighting cancer

Toby Etheridge.
Toby Etheridge.

Ten-year-old Toby Etheridge’s courage in continuing to smile while he battles leukaemia is remarkable enough.

But what is more astounding is his dedication to helping others facing the same ordeal.

Not content with raising £20,000 already for children’s cancer charity CLIC Sargent, the Cupar schoolboy is setting up his own charity.

Toby’s Magical Journey will raise money to support the charity’s creation of accommodation for families of young cancer patients at the new Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Edinburgh and to support young people with cancer who attend there and Dundee’s Ninewells Hospital.

The youngster’s mother Alison Etheridge, who will chair the charity, said: “I’m exceptionally chuffed and really, really proud of what has been achieved.

“A lot of people have helped us. This is what Toby has wanted to do from day one, from when he started to think about losing his hair – it’s remarkable.”


Toby, who is undergoing five years of chemotherapy, began his fundraising mission by dying his hair blue before having it shaved off in return for sponsorship from friends and family.

Since then he and his family have planned a series of events, including Toby’s First Magical Ball in March where guests were treated to dinner cooked by former MasterChef champion Jamie Scott.

Alison said: “Toby has raised over £20,000, which is a considerable amount of money, for CLIC Sargent Scotland.


“Now we want to turn our efforts to support the young at a local level.”

Toby was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia in December 2014 and it will be 2018 before his chemotherapy comes to an end.

He receives treatment every 12 weeks and attends hospital monthly for check-ups.

Although he is responding well, he has neurological issues as a result of the treatment and it is expected he will suffer lifelong impacts.

Toby missed several months of school last year, but is back at St Columba’s Primary School full time and enjoys playing with his friends like every other schoolboy.

In the early stages of his treatment, he and his family benefited from the CLIC Villa in Edinburgh.

As his treatment continues, he is still supported by a CLIC Sargent social worker.

Setting up of the charity is in the early stages, with articles being written before the constitution is penned and an application made for charitable status to the Office of the Scottish Charities Regulator.

Already, Toby is planning his next fundraising ball, the May Dance will be held in a year’s time.

His dad Richie is preparing to cycle 300km up the coast of Brazil in September.

Toby’s battle with cancer is also charted on his Facebook page, Toby’s Magical Journey to be Cancer Free.

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