A 13-year-old boy died the day after he was diagnosed with a devastating and rare blood cancer.
Tom Walker, described as a "very popular and caring boy" was told he had acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) in June 2018 after suffering with severe ill-health.
He underwent an operation that was intended to start his treatment but he failed to recover and died 24 hours later, Wales Online reports.
His mum Debbie Walker said: "As a friend recently said to me, it was never a fair fight – and that is what would have annoyed Tom the most.
"He was always fair. He had an incredible sense of what was right and what was wrong. He would have taken anything on, but this was a very one-sided fight."
Tom, a pupil at Monmouth School for Boys, took part in a Brecon Beacons Night Hike in March 2018 to raise funds for Cancer Research Wales.
But less than three months later Tom was struck down with the cancer himself – a rare but aggressive form of the disease about which very little is known.
Survival rates for AML have remained stubbornly low and worsen with age.
Headmaster at Monmouth School for Boys, Dr Andrew Daniel, said: "Tom's death came as a terrible shock for the whole Haberdashers’ Monmouth Schools’ community.
"Tom was a very popular and caring boy, who had a fondness for rowing, was a very talented drummer and sang in the magical performance by the schools’ musicians at St Peter’s Basilica in Rome. His loss is still felt immeasurably by us all.
"The resilience of Tom’s family has been remarkable, and they are an inspiration to all of us."
Since Tom’s sudden death, his family, friends and school mates have spent the past 11 months raising an incredible £100,000 for Cancer Research Wales through community and individual events.
The money will go towards funding a three-year post carrying out research into the causes and treatments for AML.
Tom’s parents Debbie and Tim, along with sisters Holly, 13, and Emily, 11, said Tom would be "hugely proud" of the fundraising effort in his honour.
“It is hard to know exactly how many people have worked towards reaching the £100,000 goal, but it is estimated to be in the thousands," said his family in a joint statement.
"We would like to say thank you to every single person that has helped us achieved this incredible target.
"Every time someone does any fundraising, it shows us, as a family, that people are thinking of and remembering Tom. And we thank you all from the bottom of our hearts.”
Cancer Research Wales said it will now put out a grant call for an AML research scholarship this summer – named in memory of Tom – with the appointed scientist to start working on the project in September 2020.
The money raised will fund an area of work where there is a recognised gap in research or evidence.
The Walker family added: “We hope that by funding this research, we can change the odds so that people affected by this type of leukaemia are more likely to survive be it by earlier diagnosis or by more effective treatment."
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