CARING and compassionate teenagers at a Leamington school were so moved by the news that their friend had cancer that they rallied together to organise an emotional concert in his honour.
Trinity School pupil Dan O’Regan was last month diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma, a rare type of bone cancer, and is currently undergoing chemotherapy at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham. He received his second round of treatment on Wednesday.
His close friend and classmate Lewis Fagge, who has known Dan for eight years and played in bands with for four, heard the news soon after returning to school after the Christmas holidays and immediately wanted to do what he could to show Dan that he had plenty of support.
He said: “I was shocked - it took me a while to get used to the idea. Of all people, Dan was the last you would imagine to get ill because he is always so lively and happy.
“I felt it was important to make sure that his friends are all there for him throughout.”
The 15-year-old, who has visited Dan in hospital twice over the past month, said: “It’s difficult for him to have many visitors because he gets very tired, but when I saw him recently, he was looking a lot better.
“Dan is a massive music fan. We wanted to do something for him that would be relevant to him, so the idea of a concert seemed brilliant and we soon got lots of people involved.”
The end result was an emotional few hours at the school on a Friday afternoon, during which 16 young performers impressed a crowd of 250 and raised £1,136 - which they have used to buy an Apple Mac computer to give to Dan to enable him to keep in touch with his friends via Skype and Facebook.
The youngsters were careful to choose a computer that includes recording software so that Dan can record music while he is ill and after his recovery.
Lewis said: “It was a sad occasion - we would much rather have not had to do it - but it was also about looking forward to Dan getting better.
“We are really looking forward to giving the Apple Mac to him and showing him that we are thinking about him.
“We are going to make sure that as friends, we are there for him and keep visiting him throughout the year.”
Trinity School’s headteacher Chris Gabbett said: “I am very proud to be the leader of such a caring and compassionate school.
“That the students did all of this independently shows not only their strength of character, but also the high regard that they hold their classmate in.
“Dan remains in our thoughts and prayers and we are looking forward to welcoming him back into the school once his treatment ends.”