Little Dominic Halliwell’s battle with a rare cancer has inspired North East musicians to raise money in his honour.
The 18-month-old is one of only a handful of children diagnosed with disseminated leptomeningeal glioneuronal tumour.
In the last few weeks, the tot has started to find his feet and has taken his first steps as he continues to live life to the full.
Tonight soulful North East band GrooveTrain will perform at the Sage Gateshead to raise money for the North of England Children’s Cancer Research Fund (NECCR) and The Rainbow Trust Children’s Charity.
All musicians taking part have been inspired by Dominic, who has recovered well thanks to the care he has received at the Great North Children’s Hospital, based at Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary.
Dominic’s mum, Natalie, who also has son, Zach, said: “Dominic is now living a life that we would never have dreamt possible following his diagnosis and, against all the initial odds, even just taken his first proper steps.
“We realise that we are very fortunate as we have seen several of the young friends that we met in hospital losing their fight against cancer. We are deeply touched by the generosity of the performers who will be hosting the concert at Sage Gateshead.
“These two charities are so deserving of our support and have helped our family immeasurably over the past 15 months. We are so fortunate to have the Great North Children’s Hospital – supported by NECCR – on our doorstep and the love and care of organisations like The Rainbow Trust.”
Dominic was only 10 weeks old when it became clear that something was wrong and parents Natalie and Chris, of Low Fell, Gateshead, immediately took their youngest son to the nearby Queen Elizabeth Hospital.
Following examination, Dominic was blue-lighted to Newcastle’s Great North Children’s Hospital with water on the brain and the fluid was drained and a shunt fitted.
The tot then had an MRI scan four days later which sadly revealed a shadow on his brain.
Cells were later sent for detailed analysis and medics later diagnosed with the serious condition. A film of malignant tumour cells were identified as covering the one-year-old’s brain, central nervous system and spinal cord. Gruelling chemotherapy treatment followed.
The music event is the brainchild of GrooveTrain frontman Michael Lavery, who is Dominic’s godfather. Michael has organised the show, recruiting a range of artists, volunteers and sponsors to raise vital funds not only to help Dominic but the hundreds of youngsters who are diagnosed with cancer or life-threatening illness every year.
Michael said: “I was keen to do something to show how much we have all been touched and inspired by Dominic’s courage and that of his family – and our friends – mum Natalie, dad Chris and brother Zach.
“All of the artists I’ve contacted have been so willing and committed to make this night a huge success and I’d like to thank them, and the staff at Sage Gateshead for their generosity and patience as I’ve pieced the show together. We want to raise as much money as possible for these wonderful charities.”