Local Road Racing Champion Supports Children Impacted by Cancer

Local Road Racing Champion Supports Children Impacted by Cancer

Jonathan Watt, a 29-year-old, Road Racing Champion, has announced 13-year-old Aiden MacDougall as the winner of his helmet design competition.

Jonathan organised the competition in aid of Cancer Fund for Children, after the charity supported his little brother Theo who was diagnosed with leukaemia in July 2022.

Jonathan created the competition last year to give the young people supported by Cancer Fund for Children the chance to design the helmet he would wear during his 2023 racing season. After receiving countless designs and opening the decision to a public vote, Aiden was chosen as the winning artist.

Speaking about the final helmet, Aiden said:

“Wow. That’s awesome! I’m so happy. Thank-you Jonathan for this great opportunity to promote awareness of children impacted by cancer.”

Jonathan’s 12-year-old brother Theo had always been an athletic, energetic little boy. His parents first noticed a change at the end of May 2022 when Theo’s mood and behaviour changed.

However, given his age, it was put down to puberty. A sore chest following a school trip was put down to a pulled muscle and tiredness which impacted on his ability to do everyday activities was attributed to a viral infection. Fast forward to mid-July, Theo was sleeping a lot and he was very pale, spiking temperatures on a daily basis.

Following blood tests and a visit to Craigavon Area Hospital, Theo was transferred to the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children where he underwent various tests and a bone marrow biopsy before being diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukaemia on the 22nd July. To make a difficult situation even harder, Theo’s grandmother was buried on this day, following her unexpected death on the 19th July.

Theo’s brother Jonathan decided to support Cancer Fund for Children after seeing first-hand the support they offered on the ward to children impacted by cancer.

Jonathan said:

“After seeing the charity work in the hospital and hearing from my mother about all the things they were doing, I knew I wanted to do something to help raise awareness. Cancer Fund for Children are hands on and you can see the impact they have.”

“Road racing is a huge sport in Ireland and it has a fantastic community behind it. If even just a handful of people involved see my helmet and learn more about the charity, it would be great!”

Phil Alexander, CEO of Cancer Fund for Children said:

“Jonathan, Theo and his family have been through the hardest thing anyone could have to face and the fact that they are using this experience to help us reach more people and support more children is humbling.

We wish Jonathan all the best in his racing season this Summer and hope the helmet gives him some extra good luck!”

Photo courtesy of Chloe Peoples

Words by Chloe Peoples

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