Toby makes big strides on his magical journey

Toby with his mum Alison. Photo: Steven Brown
Toby with his mum Alison. Photo: Steven Brown

A brave Cupar boy suffering from leukaemia has taken another significant step on his ‘magical journey’ to be cancer free.

Ten-year-old Toby Etheridge, who was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia just before Christmas last year, returned to class at St Columba’s Primary School on Monday for the first time in 153 days.

At the moment he’s attending for two hours a day but hopes to increase that to four mornings a week by the October holidays and be back to full-time by Christmas.

But despite his milestone achievement, Toby’s battle with cancer is far from over.

“He has now finished his intense chemotherapy but he has to have oral chemo until April 2018 and a daily cocktail of powerful drugs as well as regular hospital visits,” explained Toby’s mum Alison, who’s given up work to care for him.

“He’s very tired after school but very excited and the headteacher, Jo Boggan, and her staff have been absolutely amazing and so supportive.

“He’s also enjoying taking part in choir practice again and his classmates in P6 have been great.

“We’ve a long road ahead of us but despite all he’s been through Toby never complains; he just gets on with it.”

Following his diagnosis, Toby set up a Facebook page, ‘Toby’s Magical Journey’, in which he and his family have charted his progress during his frequent stays in the Royal Hospital for Sick Children, where he underwent often gruelling treatment.

Throughout his ordeal he’s had the support of the children’s cancer charity CLIC Sargent and by way of expressing their appreciation the family - Alison, his dad Richie, sister Jessica ( 15) and brother Samuel (17) - have thrown themselves into fund-raising.

Toby has also set up a Just Giving page - www.justgiving.com/teams/tobysmagicaljourneyfund - where people are invited to join his ‘Toby’s Magical Journey’ team.

CLIC Sargent provides support for children with cancer and their families both at home and in hospital, and the Etheridge family found the CLIC Villa, which is opposite the Sick Kids’ , an invaluable help as they could be close to Toby while he was undergoing treatment.