Fundraising appeal to help Monkseaton teenager diagnosed with cancer

A community is rallying around a teenager who found out he had cancer after being hurt while playing rugby.

Thursday, 6th February 2020, 10:00 am
Josh Smith with his sisters Libby, Elena and Philippa.

Josh Smith, from Monkseaton, was playing for Rockliff RFC in a match just before Christmas when he took a knock and started suffering from pains in his arm.

The 14-year-old took painkillers but when the pain continued, he was taken to hospital on New Year’s Day for x-rays and a series of tests.

He was then told to see a top consultant at the RVI in Newcastle on January 6, and following more tests and a biopsy, his family was told the devastating news he had osteosarcoma – a form of bone cancer – in his right shoulder.

Josh began chemotherapy – with the aim being at the end to have an operation to remove the tumour – but a week later was hit by the news that as well as the aggressive cancer in his arm, it had spread to multiple sites in his body.

Now his uncle Matthew Graham has launched a GoFundMe page to help raise £20,000 to support the family – with £19,500 being raised since January 19.

He said: “Since starting this fundraising campaign, I am humbled by the love and generosity so far. What can I say, but thank you all.

“I sett up the page to raise funds in order to help this amazing family be able to make the time they all have together memorable.

“In addition I hope to help relieve the financial strain for Josh and his family on the extremely difficult journey they have ahead of them.“I also hope this fundraising will help to supplement the income for his mum to take the necessary time off work to be with Josh and his sisters, and to make Josh as comfortable as he can be.“For Josh and the rest of his family, his twin sister Libby, his younger sisters Elena and Philippa, his mum Linzi, dad Jeff, his grandma’s and grandad, uncle, cousins and friends, life will never be the same again.”

Matthew added that Josh’s mum had been due to start a new job at the NHS at the start of the year but has had to put that on hold and is now using up holidays owed to her.

Anyone who wants to make a donation should visit www.gofundme.com/f/josh-vs-osteosarcoma-the-fight-begins