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THEO HARVEY

Schoolboy is raising money to help blind children like him despite his own brain tumour battle.

Three years ago, Theo underwent surgery to remove a tumour from his optical nerve. When he regained consciousness after the operation he had lost the sight in both eyes.
Theo had to relearn how to navigate everyday tasks, but always met every new challenge with determination and a positive attitude.
Despite ongoing chemotherapy, the youngster decided he wanted to help other blind children, and began to raise money for the charity Guide Dogs.
Theo, from Alford in Aberdeenshire, has carried out a series of running challenges, tandem bike rides, craft fairs and collections at his local supermarket in order to raise money. He also sells homemade dog biscuits.
So far Theo, 13, has raised enough money - £6,500 - to name two guide dogs in the charity's Name a Puppy scheme.
He named them Theo and Harvey, and is now well on his way to raising enough money to name a third.
“The fun runs were the best challenges I’ve done, and the support I had from my parents was really important,” says Theo. “My aim is to get my own guide dog when I am independent. The best thing about getting a dog will be having a dog of my own and having the companionship and he will probably become my best friend.”
The brave youngster is determined not to let Covid stop his fundraising challenges, planning to climb the highest mountain in Britain, Ben Nevis, as soon as he is well enough.
Theo still faces an ongoing health battle. His tumours are benign and are primarily in his brain, but a scan earlier this year revealed more tumours in his spine. He has started a two- year course of chemotherapy which ends in December next year.
Dad David, a construction project manager, said: “Theo has been doing well and we were hoping to get him a guide dog but his brain operation put him back, as it has affected his memory. For someone to get a guide dog they need to get to know their local routes. So we will be working on that.”
He adds: “We are so proud of Theo. He had an operation on his brain last July and has been in and out of hospital. His doctors are also in awe of how far he has come.
“Yet he has shown more courage, determination and stamina than most adults. That is just the kind of boy he is. Even lockdown hasn’t stopped him, he was building bird boxes that he went on to sell at school and to friends and neighbours to raise more funds.”
Sal Chapman, Guide Dogs’ National Name a Puppy Manager, said: “Theo is just a superhero, an absolute legend. His tenacity is incredible. To go through everything he has at such a young age, most adults would have thrown in the towel, but Theo just carries on. We need more Theos in this world.”