Loss inspires student nurse

A mum and Sunderland student has been inspired into a career caring for others following the death of her precious son.

Kieran Anderson should have been turning 21 in just a few months’ time.

Instead, his family are organising a special event in his memory after he lost his fight with childhood cancer, neuroblastoma.

Kieran died on March 20, 2007. He was just eight-years-old.

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Since then, his family have arranged a series of fundraising events to keep his memory alive, and raise awareness of the devastating condition.

Inspired by the bravery and courage her little boy showed, mum Vici Peebles, 41, is currently in the second year of a Nursing degree at the University of Sunderland.

The Roker mum is hoping to go on and work in palliative care where she can show the support and compassion similar to that which her son received from the medics who treated him.

Vici said: “When you see the work both the doctors and nurses do, it’s amazing.

“I had already done a Health and Social Care degree at Sunderland and wanted to go on and study Nursing.

“It has been quite hard balancing family life with studying and working at the same time but in September I will start my final year.”

Every year since Kieran’s death, his family would visit hospitals across the North East to deliver selection boxes to children facing Christmas away from home.

This year, as Kieran would have been preparing for his 21st birthday, the family have decided to host a football tournament and fun day at Ashbrooke Sports Club in Sunderland from 1pm on Sunday, September 15.

Kieran’s brothers and sisters - 23-year-old Natasha, 22-year-old Darren; Stephanie, 12; Errin, 11 and eight-year-old Jimmy will all be supporting their mum during the event.

Vici said: “Kieran was a typical little boy. He loved football and never missed a Sunderland AFC match.

“When he was unwell, he was able to go into the VIP box to watch the games and he even was a mascot for the team.

“He also loved Peter Pan and had his own Disney Peter Pan outfit which we still have.”

Kieran was first diagnosed with neuroblastoma in September 2003. He bravely lived with Stage 4 of the condition, which meant his chances of survival were severely limited.

Vic added: “I do often wonder what he would be doing now. Some of his brothers and sisters are now leading their own lives, which is what he should have been doing.”

Members of the public are invited to attend the football tournament and fun day from 1pm on September 15. A donation can be made on the door.

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