Words from Alison Tosh, Arrans Mum

"Arran was born on the 27th September 2000 at 10.10am. He weighed a tiny 6lb 13oz.  He had the most amazing brown eyes. We named him Arran, Stephen, Edward, Tosh. A little brother to our two gorgeous girls Chloe and Abbie.  Little did he know it, but he now had 3 mum’s!

 

As a toddler Arran became the cutest baby boy I had seen (although I don’t mean to be biased!)

Everyone who knew him commented on his huge smile and that he had such a contagious laugh. He was just so happy most of the time, but liked to have things his own way, so that’s when we saw the tears and tantrums. Luckily as Arran grew older the tantrums left and the smiles got bigger and he became an entertainer. His love for playing guitar and singing started at the early age of 5. He wanted to be like his Auntie Tracy, my youngest sister who plays guitar and is a beautiful singer.  However Arran had a long way to go!

Through his early years at nursery and primary school Arran became very popular with friends and teachers.  He was such a joy to be around.  He could also be naughty like any other child, being told off in class for talking to much or making people laugh when he was meant to be working.  It was whilst he was at primary school he found his love of acting and singing.  As soon as he was at the right age he joined the drama group.  Somehow every role he took on he brought something extra to his performance.

His love of drama continued through secondary school. Taking part in all the summer and Christmas performances. Sometimes you would see him a few times in one show as he was also in a band.  He was the lead singer and guitarist.  Arran was small for his age and I remember one Christmas show, Arran was probably about 11 and the electric guitar he was playing was so big you could only just see the top of his chest and face. He also joined one of the local drama groups near to where we lived and had main parts in 2 of their shows.

The last performance Arran took part in was at his secondary school performance of ‘We Will Rock You’. He was 13 and only 4 months before he passed away.   At the time he was feeling quite poorly but he didn’t want to let everyone down. They had all practised so hard for months, so as a true performer he carried on.  It was one of the proudest moments as a parent I have ever had. Seeing him on that stage singing and dancing will stay with me forever.

I am still being approached by people who saw Arran in his performances and have nothing but praise for him. Others who have met Arran tell me how they found him a ‘very happy, friendly and helpful boy’. I love it when they share their stories of him with me. He always tried to help others who were less fortunate or needed a helping hand with life in general. He couldn’t tolerate bullies and would be the first to step in to help, even if the bullies where much taller than him!

There is now a huge void in all of our hearts, we miss Arran so much.  We celebrated his 18th Birthday in September 2018.  Sharing our stories together as a family. The legacy that Arran has left behind is more than anything we could ever imagine. The amount of support we have from family, friends and strangers is overwhelming.

When Arran started his fundraising it was in February 2014, busking outside our local Cancer Research shop with his two friends, Toby and Jo.  Then he organised to have his hair shaved off on the last day of the summer term in the same year. He aimed to raise £1000, after being inspired by his Auntie Kerry, my other sister who had battled with Breast Cancer when Arran was younger.  Sadly Arran did not live to have his hair shaved but two of his dear friends and a teacher stood up to the challenge.

Arran now has over £200,000 to his name and is helping other children who have been diagnosed with Brain Tumours and Brain Cancer.

To know that such a devastating and tragic loss to our lives is helping another child going through the same as Arran is so comforting to us as a family. We are always hopeful we can contribute to a child's survival so their parent’s are not faced with the same loss that we had.

I believe Arran is looking down on everyone of us and still has his little ways of being part of our lives and ‘The Smile of Arran Trust’. I thank God for our little Angel Arran and our two beautiful girls Chloe and Abbie everyday. Without them, Steve and I could not have coped with this devastating chapter in our lives."

 
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