THE family of an ever-smiling youngster who died of terminal cancer earlier this year continued his legacy by fundraising for a charity close to their hearts.
Oliver Howe, eight, was first diagnosed with cancer in September 2020 and, despite everything, always had a smile on his face.
After ringing the cancer treatment bell in 2021, the disease devastatingly returned later that year and he died on February 1.
Oliver still managed to raise thousands for charities close to their hearts during his gruelling treatment.
After his death, Oliver’s dad David of Gawber vowed to continue his legacy by following in the young fighter’s fundraising steps.
And he did just that last month by taking part in the Yorkshire Three Peaks challenge for the Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust.
On July 22, Team Oliver Howe took part in the 25-mile challenge alongside 27 other supporters of the Trust – raising more than £21,000 for the charity in the process.
David said: “We promised Oliver that the fundraising in his name will be something we always do.
“He loved raising money, and even though he has now passed away, that promise remains.
“Team Oliver Howe is Oliver’s legacy and is something that we will continue to grow.
“Oliver faced cancer with pure determination and never lost the smile on his face.
“The challenges we do to raise money are nothing compared to the challenges that Oliver overcame when he was diagnosed with a brain tumour in September 2020.
“He faced everything head-on, rarely complained and was always thinking of others.
“A few months before he died, he came out with a quote that I never thought I’d hear an eight-year-old say. He said: ‘I’m glad I’ve got cancer’.
“Shocked and worried, we asked him why he would say that.
“Oliver replied ‘because if I didn’t we wouldn’t have raised all this money for the other boys and girls – and I wouldn’t be famous. He wasn’t wrong.”
After completing the trek, David said it was incredibly hard – but not completing it simply wasn’t an option for him and his family, who carried a picture of Oliver the whole way.
“The walk was the hardest physical challenge I have ever done but failure was never an option,” he added.
“Oliver faced and overcame much harder challenges than we did.
“Everyone knows the reasons for doing these challenges.
“Raising money for Sheffield Children’s Hospital NHS and Charity will always be a massive part of our lives.
“Oliver lived raising the money to help others and I certainly felt him with me the whole way round.
“We miss him so much and he is loved so much.”
Over the last three years the family has raised more than £130,000.
There’s still time to donate to the fundraiser, and a link can be found on the Barnsley Chronicle website.