Childhood cancer fundraiser in memory of brave teen Ben
THE family of a ‘fit as a fiddle’ teenager who passed away following a hard-fought battle with cancer last month have launched a drive to improve the odds for others.
A keen student, footballer, actor, gamer and cat lover, Benjamin Pavitt was just 16 when a relapse of his acute T-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoblastic lymphoma ended his life.
Former Noadswood School pupil Ben, who excelled in his GCSEs and raised thousands for charity during 15 months of treatment, made it clear in his final days that he wanted his legacy to be one of helping others.
Tens of thousands of pounds have already been raised in his name for the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit and Piam Brown ward in Southampton and Teenage Cancer Trust.
Now Dad Mike, Mum Suzie and 13-year-old sister Lauren, from Marchwood, extended family, friends and the whole community have launched Ben Pavitt’s Legacy of Love fund with the Children’s Cancer and Leukaemia Group to raise much-needed funds for research into children’s cancers.
Father Mike, a partner at Southampton law firm Paris Smith, told the Daily Echo: “Ben was as fit as the proverbial fiddle. He was a supremely healthy and active 15 year old when he was first diagnosed, and he fought harder than anyone had any right to expect, but he was being treated with chemotherapy drugs, some of which were first licensed in the 1960s, and only a handful of therapies ever developed for children.
“His medical care was first rate, but this chronic lack of investment in cures over decades is robbing us of the best of our future generations and will continue to do so unless action is taken.
“Nobody could have been more loved, more cared for or more healthy. He was the most adventurous of us and of his peers. If a disease like this can take someone like that with no risk factors, it can take anyone."
Fundraising, which stands at more than £12,000, will continue with a collaboration between amateur dramatic society SOS Presents, which the Pavitt family performed with, and Paris Smith LLP during the Mayflower MAST production of Legally Blonde, as well as an event for Marchwood Rangers, Ben’s football team.