Lee Welsh (17), from Larbert, was diagnosed with the blood cancer non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma back in 2016 and is now in full remission and back boxing again.
When he learned Stenhousemuir youngster Ryan Thomson (14) – the nephew of a close family friend – had been diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma he immediately started to look for ways he could support him through his own battle.
Both Lee and Ryan attended Stenhousemuir Primary School and Larbert High School and they both have the potential to be future sporting stars, with Ryan starring as a talented player in the Stenhousemuir FC 2007 Community Team.
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A Stenhousemuir FC spokesperson said: “This is heartbreaking for any family, but for a young boy we know as one of our own, we want to ensure we are with Ryan and his family every step of the way. Ryan’s journey starts now as he goes through the first part of his chemotherapy treatment.”
Ricky Welsh (51), Lee’s dad, said: “Ryan’s uncle Geo is a sports artist and he was a great help and support to Lee when he was going through his cancer fight. He became a great friend.
"Lee made a video for Ryan and told him about his experience and how he fought cancer.”
Promising boxer Lee admits he has a “dislike” of running – which he states is the hardest part of training for him – but starting this week he has challenged himself to run 15k a week for a whole month to coin in even more cash for Ryan and his family.
He said: “I hope people will get behind this cause and sponsor me in raising some funds for Ryan and his family. I know all too well how tough a journey Ryan has ahead of him but with kindness and support we can provide some happiness and hope for Ryan and his family.”
Lee also set up a Go Fund Me page for Ryan which has so far raised £1450.
He said: “Throughout my battle with cancer I had lots of support from kind and generous people who were fully behind me and my fight with the illness and the support and motivation helped me get through those tough and draining days of treatment.
“One of my supporters throughout that time was Geo Thomson, Geo was and still continues to be a huge support in my life and from this relationship I've gotten to know Geo's own family too.
"One of Geo's nephews, Ryan Thomson, faces a similar battle to the one I had and I know all too well the challenges Ryan and his whole family face during this time. For that reason I wish to raise some money to help them in whatever way they may need.
"Cancer affects the whole family emotionally and financially. Sometimes having days and things to look forward to gave me the motivation and determination I needed to make it through each block of chemotherapy and these really helped me push through, I'd like to contribute to a Ryan having some of that.”
Visit the Go Fund Me page if you want to donate to the cause.