Bowling along with help from hospital
Being picked for the under-25s squad of a top bowls team is a major achievement for any 10-year-old.
But Carlos Lali, from Abingdon, is particularly proud, as just four years ago he was fighting an aggressive form of cancer.
Doctors discovered a tumour growing in the back of his throat which made it hard for him to breathe. His condition was eventually diagnosed as non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.
After 12 months of treatment, including chemotherapy and lumbar punctures, Carlos is in remission and a regular player at Oxford City and County Bowls Club, in Marston Ferry Road.
The Dry Sandford Primary School pupil will be lining up to cheer on his mum, beauty therapist Sharron Edwards, 29, when she races in the 10th OX5 Run on Sunday, March 25, to raise money for Oxford Children’s Hospital, where Carlos was treated.
Ms Edwards wants to raise money to help other families whose children need treatment at the hospital.
She said: “It was doctors at the children’s hospital who spotted something was very wrong with Carlos.
“What Carlos has been through has made him stronger and I think it is that determination which makes him such a good bowls player.
“He had to have a lumbar puncture 25 times during his treatment to have chemotherapy in his spine. He lost two stone in weight, because the only way he could eat was through a tube in his nose.
“It’s over three years since his treatment finished and he only has to visit the hospital in Oxford for routine check-ups. It’s amazing to see what he’s like now.
“When I see him playing bowls or running around on a football pitch, I realise how strong and determined he is.
“That’s why I’ve signed up for the OX5 Run, because I want to do as much as I can to help other families going through what we did.”
Carlos discovered his talent for bowls when his grandfather Gordon Edwards took him to play on the green in Albert Park, Abingdon.
Ms Edwards hopes to complete the five-mile run in 35 minutes.
Children’s Hospital spokesman Penny Hambridge said: “Carlos’s story is very inspiring and reminds us that the OX5 Run is all about raising money for families who are facing months or sometimes years of treatment.”
Fundraisers are hoping 1,000 runners raise £100 each to raise a record-breaking £100,000 for toys and equipment at the hospital.
Last year, the £60,000 raised was spent on a mobile intensive care unit and on converting a room for teenage patients to relax in.
For further information or to register online for the race, see ox5run.co.uk