The family of a Banbridge boy who died on Wednesday after battling leukaemia have appealed for a fundraising walk to go ahead this weekend as planned.
Nine-year-old Adam Watson had fought an aggressive form of the disease for more than two-and-a-half years.
The 24-hour Hiking for Little Heroes challenge – the idea of Adam’s dad David – was planned for this Saturday at Craigavon Lakes in aid of the Cancer Fund for Children and its holiday respite centre Daisy Hill Lodge.
In a statement, David and wife Sara said yesterday had proved to be “the most difficult day of our lives as we said goodbye to our precious son Adam” but that the walk “must go on”.
They added: “The 24 challenge was inspired by Adam and through Adam. He showed grit and determination to the very last second of his fight.
“As a family we ask, in fact we plead with you, that if you were due to take part in the challenge this coming weekend then that’s exactly what you do.
“The challenge must go on, this was Adam’s challenge, it was based on his story.
“Please give Stuarty and the rest of the organising committee your support this weekend. Let’s see how much we can raise for the Cancer Fund for Children charity.”
Hiking for Little Heroes said: “We are totally devasted with the news that our much loved Adam Watson has passed away after his long battle with leukemia.
“Adam was front and centre of our fundraising efforts for children’s cancer charities across Northern Ireland and was an incredible, brave young boy and an inspiration to us all.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with Sara, David and the entire Watson and McAdam families.”
Dozens of tributes have been paid to the popular schoolboy who inspired a fundraising campaign under the umbrella of ‘B Positive’, with many on social media changing their profiles to raise awareness.
Adam’s funeral service will take place tomorrow (Friday) at 12.30pm in Seapatrick Parish Church followed by committal in Banbridge New Cemetery.
The family is asking for donations in lieu of flowers, if desired, for Hiking for Little Heroes with all proceeds going to Cancer Fund for Children C/O Robert J. Bready, Funeral Director, 22 Newry Road, Rathfriland, BT34 5AL. (Cheques made payable to Robert Bready).