More than £17,000 raised for friend battling cancer

Wednesday 10th August 2022 6:00 am

BARNEY (centre) Charlie and Kieran with the cheque for £6379 from NFU Mutual

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TWO young men have rallied an army of supporters and have raised £17,000 in solidarity with their best friend battling illness.

Kieran Owen and Charlie Buckley stepped out on Saturday to hike ten miles of the Cornish coast path with around 50 people walking alongside them.

‘Barney’s Army’ as it has become known is made up of members of St Cleer and Liskeard Junior Football Club, Launceston Rugby Club, and wider friends and family. They’ve come together in support of 15-year-old Barney Price, who was diagnosed with liver cancer in April, and who has been undergoing chemotherapy and treatment at Bristol Children’s Hospital and at Derriford.

The sponsored walk from Harlyn Bay to Bedruthan Steps was the latest in a series of fundraising activities for the two charities that have helped Barney and his family: Molly Olly’s, and Young Lives vs Cancer.

The appeal total now stands at £17,000, including a significant donation from the local NFU Mutual.

“It has blown me away seeing as we only wanted to raise £500 at the start,” said Kieran.

“Barney is a bubbly, kind-hearted boy, he’s always out adventuring with his family or playing sports. I don’t think there’s a single person with a bad thing to say about him, he’s liked by everyone.

“When he was first diagnosed it did hit me hard at first, seeing him struggling.

“Charlie and I decided we needed to do something and it was Charlie’s idea to do the walk.”

The two get together with Barney as often as they can when he is at home, usually to watch TV, play Xbox and talk, and try and keep things as normal as possible.

Charlie adds: “Barney is mine and Kieran’s best mate – he lives two minutes down the road.

“We decided to fundraise because we have seen him not in a good state, and we wouldn’t want to see anyone else go through that. We wanted the money to go to a good cause.”

Barney was able to be at Bedruthan Steps to see his mates arrive at the finish.

“There were people cheering us in,” said Kieran.

“As soon as we saw Barney our faces lit up. He walked the last ten seconds over the finish line with us and celebrated for a bit with us afterwards.”

Ian Maddever spoke to the youngsters and their families as he presented a cheque for £6379 on behalf of NFU Mutual.

“When I first heard about Barney’s condition my heart went out to his family, obviously not only for having to deal with the shock of such a diagnosis but also for the challenges they’d have to face.

“The two charities really have made a huge difference to Barney and his family making some of those challenges a little more bearable.”

He continued: “Charlie and Kieran have become beacons not only of Barney’s plight but also for both charities and the effects this horrible disease causes everyone it comes into contact with. In life the very worst times bring out the very best in people.”

The two friends have given sincere thanks to supporters.

“We’d like to mainly thank my mum and Kieran’s mum who played a big part in organising the walk, and the founders of Molly Olly’s, who came along – it was really nice to see them,” said Charlie.

“We’d also like to say a massive thankyou to the people that have helped us during the fundraising period, especially Ian at NFU Mutual, St Cleer and Liskeard JFC, Liskeard School and Community College, the Beach Box Cafe at Harlyn, YHA Treyarnon, Carnewas Tea Room, Joe White at Callington Cricket Club and all the 50+ buisnessess that donated raffle prizes.”

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