A 300-strong flute band has helped to make significant inroads in raising funds for life-saving cancer treatment for a boy from Co Down.
At a band parade on Friday night in Banbridge £3,000 was raised for 12-year-old Cameron Truesdale whose family are trying to raise £300,000 for 10 months of experimental treatment in Mexico for a DIPG brain tumour.
The event saw Brainwaves Protestant Boys – an amalgamated flute band set up specifically to help with fundraising efforts in the marching band community – parade through the Co Down town with 300 guest members in its ranks.
Cameron’s father Harold Truesdale said: “On Friday night at our annual band parade we received a big boost from the band scene. The response was unreal from all sides of the community.
“The mass band (Brainwaves) was made up of members of the bands in attendance at the parade. It was an awesome sight.”
Mr Truesdale, a member of Downshire Guiding Star, said: “When you’re in a band you’re part of something bigger than yourself and this epitomised what we’re all about.”
He said the family have to date raised around £60,000.
“We’re closer than we were yesterday, that’s the way I try to look at it,” he said.
“The chairman of my band said to me, ‘you’re going on holiday, you’re getting him better and you’ll come home with a tan’. I found that very helpful. You have to be positive. I have never woken up defeated any day so I’m not going to start now.”
He added: “Cameron understands everything in relation to the tumour. We’ve had to be a bit braver and use the word ‘cancer’ a lot when we’re talking about why we’re going to Mexico.
“That is the only type of treatment that is available to Cameron. There is absolutely nothing offered at home.”
He explained that should the Mexico trip go ahead his daughter Chloe, 9, will stay at home with his wife.
“We’re securing Cameron’s future but we can’t do it to the detriment of Chloe’s future,” he said.