Brentford, Twickenham & Chiswick Times – 3/9/04
Teen’s Final Cancer Battle
A TEENAGER with a rare cancer, who started his own fund for cancer patients and their families, died last week.
James Naughton, 17, of York Road, Brentford, passed away in the night at the Middlesex Teenage Cancer Trust Unit, where he had stayed since February.
James had just left Gunnersbury RC School, and was planning to undertake an electrician apprenticeship, when he was diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma in January.
Ewing’s sarcoma is a rare type of bone cancer usually found in children and young adults and it affected James’ spinal cord, leaving him paralysed from the waist down.
However James never let his condition affect his personality, and he determined to fight to raise money for his fellow cancer patients and their families.
His selfless attitude was demonstrated by his desire to help the families of other patients who were “less fortunate” than his own.
He arranged numerous projects for fundraising, including supermarket, shop and restaurant vouchers, so that the parents of patients could get out of the hospital and have a decent meal. He even investigated the possibility of contacting hotel chains in the area to see if they would be willing to offer unbooked rooms to parents for a night. Raffles and auctions of signed sports goods were also organised.
On his website James commented: “I feel there is so much I can do to make so many people’s life so much more bearable.” He aimed to make a pack for new patients and their families on admission to the Teenage Cancer Trust Unit.
James had great support throughout his illness from his own friends and family. Chris Wilford undertook a Birthday Card Appeal, Alan Garrett ran the London Marathon, and Valarie Moore and her daughters, Abbie, 12, and Rebecca, 15, did a sponsored swim of 200 lengths. Another friend, Beryl St Martin, donated £1 of every order from her flower shop to the Fund.
James’ parents and sister Emma worked tirelessly with him to help with his fundraising. His mother Fran emphasised how, despite the seriousness of his condition, James never lost his sense of humour. She said: “James was born on 12 Feb 1987 without any fuss, which was an attribute which he carried throughout his life.
“We can be confident in saying that everyone will remember him for his lovely smile, sense of humour, politeness and loyalty. Individually, his mates have said that no-one had a bad work to say about James. Life was too short, the battle too long. To the end he showed courage, bravery and dignity and he never lost his sense of humour.”
There was a blessing last night at 7.00pm in the St. Peter & St. Paul R.C. Church in Camborne Avenue, London. There will be a mass this morning at 9.30am, and then at 11.30am the cremation will be held at Mortlake Crematorium.
There follows a reception at The New England Bar & Restaurant, York Road, Brentford. Those wishing to send flowers please contact Flowers etc. on 020 8575 8095, and donations to the James Naughton Fund can be sent to Windmill Studios, 49-51 York Road, Brentford, Middlesex, TW8 0QP.
Details can be found on the website www.jamesnaughton.co.uk