The last wishes of a smiling 11-year-old boy who died from a brain tumour are to brighten the birthdays of hundreds more young cancer victims.
Jamie Tipler’s cheeky grin lit up the children’s ward for nearly two years while he was in and out of hospital for treatment.
The only time the Milton Keynes Prep School pupil felt sad was when he saw what a struggle it was for parents to make their children’s birthdays a special occasion in a hospital.
“Birthdays were huge to Jamie. Before he was ill we used to be at the party shop by 9am on every birthday, buying balloons and party things,” said his mum Julie.
“But it’s difficult when the child is in hospital, perhaps without warning, on their birthday. We saw parents scrabbling around trying to make the day special for their son or daughter.”
Jamie, who was originally given only weeks to live, died on January 28 after a brave two-year battle.
It was his wish that children with cancer continue to enjoy their birthdays wherever they were and so he created Jamie’s Rhythm of Life, picking the name because he was crazy about drumming.
Now his mum and dad have vowed to make his dream come true and ensure the scheme a soaring success.
The aim is to provide a birthday balloon in a box, together with a small gift of Lego or a cuddly toy, for every child being treated for cancer at the specialist oncology ward at John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford.
“It doesn’t matter whether they are in hospital for their birthday, at home or at school – they will still get their balloon and present from Jamie,” said Julie.
“Siblings will get a balloon too. My husband Kevin and I have a five-year-old daughter so we know how hard it can be for brothers and sisters of sick children.”
John Radcliffe treats between 200 and 250 local youngsters a year for cancer and the Tiplers estimate they will need to raise up to £3,000 each year to buy enough balloon and gifts.
“We would like to raise extra to help research into children’s brain tumours,” said Julie.
People can donate through http://jamiesrhythmoflife.org.uk.