A snap happy Doncaster youngster who has beaten cancer twice is putting his love of photography to good use with a fundraising calendar.
Inspirational Ben Roe is raising money for the charity which helped him and his family through their darkest days as he defied medical opinion to recover from two types of acute leukaemia.
The ordeal hasn’t stopped 12-year-old Ben, who was born with Down’s syndrome, from taking on new challenges and he is now on a mission to raise more than £1,000 for the Sheffield Parents’ Association of Children with Tumours and Leukaemia, or PACT, with a calendar of his photographs.
Mum Lynn Roe says Ben is a born-natural at photography and the calendar is a way of giving something back to PACT, which provided much-needed support to Ben and the family during his battle with cancer.
“The photographs are of everything Ben finds interesting,” said Lynn, aged 53, of Gullane Drive, Warmsworth.
“I gave him my camera and he just started taking photos of everything he could – he loves it.
“The calendar was my idea. They’ve just done so much for us and other families, but once we had the idea Ben got very excited about it.
“He had a lot of fun taking the photos and choosing which ones to use.”
Ben was first diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia in 2004, when he was two years old, followed by acute lymphoblastic leukaemia in 2006.
He is only the second person in the country known to have developed ALL after AML.
During his treatment for the disease, Ben underwent more than six months of chemotherapy at Sheffield Children’s Hospital.
The PACT charity has a clinic at the hospital which, among other things, offers rooms for the families of patients to stay in.
Lynn says these facilities, as well as the many other services the charity offers, act as a lifeline for many parents and children struggling to cope.
The money raised by Ben’s calendar will go towards a £670,000 funding drive for the charity, through which they hope to build a new oncology and haematology centre at the hospital.
A spokesman for PACT said: “It is really wonderful that Ben is using his photography, which is something he really enjoys, to help other children who are being treated for cancer or leukaemia at Sheffield Children’s Hospital.
“We are so pleased we were able to help Ben and his family and it is lovely to know that they now want to give something back.
“The money raised from the calendars is going to our fundraising appeal for the PACT children’s centre for oncology and haematology.
“This new centre will have all the facilities of the existing clinic together with a new treatment suite and waiting area, which will make the whole experience much better for all the families who will use it.”
Ben has already sold 180 calendars and has 70 left to sell priced at £7, or £8.10 with postage and packaging.
Anyone wishing to buy one should contact Lynn on firstname.lastname@example.org