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Two Elmswell friends are beating cancer and meeting challenges together despite being isolated




Oliver Doughty and Lucas Newton, both 12, have a strong friendship built on the things they share and accomplish together.

Both are avid football fans, both play for the same football team, both are completing the Race for Life at Home challenge and both are beating cancer together.

Having already been forced to live in isolation for a time due to their cancer treatment weakening their immune systems, the two friends are now isolated by the current lockdown.

Lucas and Oliver enjoyed playing and watching football together before isolation
Lucas and Oliver enjoyed playing and watching football together before isolation

Having once been able to watch football and play the game on the same field (Lucas pictured left and Oliver right), they are now doing 'keepie ups' in their garden to completed the Cancer Research UK Race for Life at Home challenge.

With many Cancer Research UK events having been postponed by lockdown, the charity has set up a challenge for people to complete physical activities at home instead.

Oliver and Lucas chose the football based challenge of keeping a football in the air for as long as possible, linking up the video footage which is shown below.

Lucas has been given the all clear after overcoming the Burkitt lymphoma he was diagnosed with in 2019, while Oliver is halfway through his treatment having been diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia in 2018.

The lifelong friends live in the same village in the Bury area, go to the same school and play on the same football team.

Oliver's dad Chris said: "Oliver and Lucas have been through so much together. They have already endured isolation because of their cancer treatment and spent months apart -which must have been so difficult for them at their age when a large part of your life is about hanging out with your best buddy. Just as they were about to meet up they have been forced into separation yet again because of the coronavirus. It’s heart-breaking to see such close friends still apart after the difficult and long journey they have both gone through."

The two friends are completing the Race for Life at Home challenge
The two friends are completing the Race for Life at Home challenge

Lucas' father Scott spoke of his pride in how the boys have tackled their situation and said: "Lucas and Oliver are friends for life. When both boys were diagnosed with cancer it left us all in complete shock. For it to happen to two lads who have been best mates for years is beyond words. When Lucas got ill, there we were in the same hospital with Oli next to him."

The boys fathers have helped them set up their virtual game of keepie ups while in isolation, but the at home challenge is open for all people to come up with their own challenges and hopefully raise money to help Cancer Research UK to consign cancer to history for all of us.

Patrick Keely, Cancer Research UK’s spokesperson for the east of England, said: "It’s fantastic to see Lucas and Oliver lending their support to Race for Life at Home challenge. These two best friends have been through so much together and there is a lesson there for all of us in this current difficult time about staying in touch, friendship and helping each other cope during difficult times."

The two friends are completing the Race for Life at Home challenge
The two friends are completing the Race for Life at Home challenge

To read more about people raising awareness for, and donating to charities, click here.