Irrewarra-Beeac football rising star Toby Middleton farewelled his trademark locks yesterday to support Rory Berry, who is living with a rare form of incurable cancer at the age of just 5. Toby raised $2000 in less than a week after deciding to contribute to Rory’s fight. He spoke to the Colac Herald about his whirlwind fundraising mission which only started last Thursday.
Toby Middleton was inspired to do something after hearing young Rory Berry’s story.
The Colac teenager had been confronted by the beast that is cancer through family members during the early stages of his life.
But when Toby heard about the fight Geelong 5-year-old Rory and his family had on their hands, it struck a nerve.
“Everyone’s affected by cancer,” the 17-year-old said.
“I lost my great-grandmother when I was about 10 to ovarian cancer and my nan (Joy Wilkinson) fought, and beat, breast cancer not that long ago.
“But I was affected by this little boy who I’d never met in my life when I heard his story.”
Rory was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer last year that would forever change his life and those around him like his mum Gemma, dad Josh and older brother Hayden.
Scans revealed Rory had a large tumour in his upper spinal cord as well as other tumours throughout his spine and brain.
He had disseminated glioneuronal tumour – a form of incurable brain cancer which reportedly only has around 200 known cases worldwide.
Since Rory’s journey began, he underwent 68 straight weeks of chemotherapy following spinal surgery in May 2018.
Tumours still remain in Rory’s body and he has MRI scans every three months “to see how the cancer is behaving”, while he is also effectively blind in his left eye as a result of optical nerve damage.
See today’s Colac Herald for more.