Young Toby Etheridge is nearing the end of his three-year battle with cancer but is determined to fight on for other children struck by the disease.
The 12-year-old from Cupar has been on daily chemotherapy since shortly after he was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia in December 2014 and is counting the days until he takes his last tablet in April.
He is already planning his end-of-treatment party but he is also plotting a series of events to raise funds to make life a little better for children being treated for cancer.
Toby and his supporters have already raised £56,000 and he intends to continue his charity, Toby’s Magical Journey, run by his parents Richie and Alison from their home in Cupar.
It provides treats for Fife youngsters with cancer and items including games, toys, DVDs and books for the ward and clinic they attend in the Royal Hospital for Sick Children, in Edinburgh.
Toby is the mastermind behind the charity and Richie and Alison bring his ideas to life.
Alison said: “He is serious in what he wants to do and we are serious in helping him. We won’t stop when he finishes his treatment, otherwise we wouldn’t have jumped through all the hoops to be registered with OSCR (Office of the Scottish Charities Regulator).
“We are supporting children who are desperately battling for their lives, which is what Toby is doing.”
Despite struggling with leg pain due his treatment, brave Toby is to walk the Tay Road Bridge for the second time in March and he and Alison will take part in the Kiltwalk in August.
The coming months promise mixed emotions for the family, including Toby’s siblings Jessica, 20, and Samuel, 17.
People expect them to be overjoyed that Toby’s treatment is almost over but Alison said: “It’s stepping into the unknown.
“In the first two years after coming off the treatment, if it’s going to come back it will come back then.”
Doctors reckon there is a 95-98% chance that Toby’s treatment has been a success, but he has seen friends he has made on the ward relapse.
Richie said other than problems with his legs, Toby has been a text book case and aside from several illnesses, including pneumonia twice, he has had no serious infections.
He said: “He has been lucky you could say. Some children have spent months in hospital.”
While on chemotherapy Toby, who loved playing rugby, has been limited in activities, tiring easily.
Richie said: “He will soon be able to start looking at his life again, to see what he can do and what he can manage.”
In the coming weeks, Toby has a busy diary with several fund raisers.
On Sunday, World Cancer Day, The Tailend restaurant in St Andrews, will invite diners to make a donation to Toby’s charity.
Next Saturday the restaurant has teamed up with Eden Mill and other St Andrews businesses, Playfair’s, Luvians Bottle Shop, Jannettas Gelateria and The Adamson for a fund raising food safari.
On February 17 the charity is staging a concert in Cupar, featuring Little Mix Magic, Blue Magic and Ross from Half Built House.