Boy, 13, organizes fundraiser in dad’s memory to help cancer patients

Ty Mitchelmore says the support shows that he can always count on his friends

Ty Mitchelmore, 13, on the right, presented the cheque to the Newfoundland and Labrador branch of the cancer society, with his brother Ash, 11, looking on. (Fred Hutton/CBC)

An 13-year-old Portugal Cove-St. Philip’s boy who lost his dad to cancer has helped raise more than $15,000 for other people with the disease.

Ty Mitchelmore wanted to pay tribute to his dad, Wayne Mitchelmore, who died of cancer in late 2016.

“My dad was a great person. He was very into sports and he was athletic and he just wanted me and my brother to do well in life,” said Ty.

“He wanted to make sure we had the things he didn’t have.”

Wayne Mitchelmore was 43 when he died just before Christmas, 2016. He is seen here with his wife Tina and sons Ty and Ash. (Submitted)

Ty came up with the idea for a fundraiser, and on Thursday, more than 100 students and teachers gathered at his school, Brookside Intermediate, for a Relay for Life.

The participants spent several hours in a walkathon around their school gym, and their sponsorships translated into a cheque for $15,281.20.

Ty handed it over to the Newfoundland and Labrador branch of the Canadian Cancer Society, with his younger brother Ash, 11, looking on.

‘I’ll always have someone looking after me’

It was an emotional moment for Matthew Piercey, the cancer society’s executive director, who knows the family personally.

“Wayne was a great person … I’m so proud of Ty and Ash.”

About 100 students and staff at Brookside Intermediate took part in the Relay for Life. (Fred Hutton/CBC)

Ty, who’s just finishing Grade 8, is looking forward to summer.

He’s proud of the money raised, but it’s emotional for him too.

“I know plenty of people who are affected by cancer and I thought this was a nice way, not only to help people living with cancer, but to remember and respect those people who lost their lives to cancer … It is very hard, and very sad,” he said.

“It’s heartwarming to see all my friends here. it just reminds me that I’ll always have someone looking after me, someone I can talk to, someone who I can play with, someone looking over my shoulder looking after me.”

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