Father to take on Mount Kilamanjaro to raise money for Great Ormond Street after Josh, four, diagnosed with Burkitts lymphoma
When Paul Bond watched his four-year-old son Josh battle a vicious form of cancer, he made a pledge to conquer his greatest fear whilst raising money for charity.
The 45-year-old and his wife, Hana, of Green Street, Borehamwood, were devastated when their bubbly son was diagnosed with Burkitts lymphoma in his mouth in February.
But after spending seven months at Great Ormond Street Hospital, Josh is responding well to chemotherapy and doctors say he can be discharged in October.
Mr Bond, a guitarist in 80s band Red Box, is now training to climb Mount Kilamanjaro to raise money for the children’s hospital in February – despite being terrified of heights.
He said: “Josh had to conquer something that scared him, so now I am going to do the same.
“This is going to be very nerve racking and a massive challenge. I always thought I was very unfit, but if you put your mind to it you can do anything.
“The hospital has been just superb to us. And whenever I see Josh smile, I know this is going to be worth it.”
Josh, who will miss his first day of primary school because he will still be in hospital, was diagnosed with the rare cancer after he complained of an ulcer like sore in his mouth.
Birketts Lymphoma rarely affects people in the Western world, and is usually only found in Central African countries. The type of cancer is so aggressive that tumours can double in size in just 24 hours.
Mr Bond and his wife, a physiotherapist, divide their time between staying with Josh at hospital and caring for their other son, two-year-old Elliot.
He added: “A few months ago he was treated with a really aggressive form of chemotherapy and watching our lively boy look so drained all the time was devastating.
“We nearly lost him on the operating table too and everything started to go downhill, it was horrible to watch.
“The chemotherapy knocked out his digestive system and he is still being fed through a tube in his heart – but he has got his spirit back.
“He is just a little star, always cracking jokes from his hospital bed to try and make us laugh.
“He is so wise beyond his years and a really incredible kid.”
Mr Bond has so far raised £3,542 but hopes to reach his target of £8,000 before the climb. To sponsor him, visit www.virginmoneygiving.com/paulbond.