Football match for theft-hit cancer unit at Castle Hill
A VILLAGE is uniting for a charity football game after gaming consoles were stolen from teenage cancer patients.
Dean Sharp, 25, a coach of the Thorngumbald under-14s team, has been inspired to organise the match after hearing the consoles had been stolen from the Teenage Cancer Trust unit at Castle Hill.
The game will see the youngsters test their skills against the dads on Saturday March 9, from noon at Thorngumbald Tigers' home ground on Plumtree Lane.
Mr Sharp said: "It is unbelievable that someone could take the consoles from sick young people.
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"Some of these youngsters will never recover, so how could someone do this?"
Mr Sharp's cousin Kye Eastwood has benefited from the unit since he was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma in December.
He told Mr Sharp about the thefts and originally organised the fundraiser to buy new consoles.
But the trust has already replaced them, so the match will be to raise general funds for the charity.
He said: "It was actually the young players who suggested the fundraiser for the new consoles.
"We always have a game against the dads at the end of the season for a bit of fun but they wanted to do it for the trust.
"We wanted to raise the money for the consoles but we are happy to do it anyway."
All of Thorngumbald is getting involved in the event.
Mr Sharp said: "The whole village is getting behind this.
"The parish council has backed the event and is placing posters up around the village shops and workplaces.
"I used to work at the Royal Mail pub and they helping with a raffle while the taxi firm and local spa are donating prizes."
Youngsters in the team have already raised £100 in sponsorship.
Mr Sharp said: "It will be a great day for all involved.
"But the main thing is to help the young people being treated at the cancer ward at Castle Hill get and raise funds towards new machinery and research."
Mr Eastwood, 21, of Ings Road, east Hull, has praised the unit, which has helped him during treatment.
He said: "When I first arrived, I was shown round and they told me the games consoles had been stolen.
"It was horrible to think something like this could happen. I can't believe people can stoop so low."
Mr Eastwood has just received the welcome news that chemotherapy appears to be work.
He said: "I started chemo on Christmas Eve and a recent PET scan showed the cancer cells were not active. Now, I just need to kill the cancer and will complete the chemo on June 3."
Attending the unit has helped Mr Eastwood during his treatment.
He said: "The unit has been brilliant. It isn't a place with visiting hours and friends can just pop in.
"It is very welcoming and feels more like a youth club than a hospital."
The trust confirmed the consoles had been taken but said they were quickly replaced.
However, regional fundraiser Abby Batchelor has praised Mr Sharp for organising the event.
She said: "We are extremely grateful for this wonderful support from Mr Sharp as we rely on donations to fund all of our vital work.
"The money raised will go towards the maintenance of the Teenage Cancer Trust unit at Castle Hill, as well as funding specialist staff.
"We also need funds to support the work of the charity's free cancer awareness sessions in schools, colleges and universities across the region."
Anyone wishing to raise funds for the trust can contact Abby Batchelor on 07432 727441.