Tributes pour in for inspirational teenager who raised £17,800 for charities

An inspirational teenager who raised thousands of pounds for charities has died from cancer.

Friday, 22nd October 2021, 12:00 pm
Connor Todd with his sister Chloe at a fundraising walk at Northumberlandia, Cramlington.

Connor Todd and his family’s world was rocked when he was diagnosed with a brain tumour on the first day of lockdown last March after complaining of morning sickness and headaches over a few months, initially being diagnosed by a GP as having problems with reflux.

The brave 15-year-old underwent ten operations, numerous bone marrow transplants and rounds of intense chemo and radiotherapy in the fight against the central nervous system medullablastoma.

A year into his treatment and following the final round of chemotherapy, Connor, from Cambois, set out to walk 26.2 miles over the course of the month to raise money for charity.

Connor Todd with his mum Clair and sisters Aimee, Chloe and Josie following his cancer treatment.

Backed by his family – mum Clair, dad Michael and sisters Chloe, Aimee and Josie – and supported by the community, strangers and organisations, he managed to raise more than £17,800 for CLIC Sargent at the RVI and The Toon 2 Town charity which support, The Great North Air Ambulance, Sir Bobby Robson Foundation, The Dementia Care Foundation and The Teenage Cancer Trust.

Sadly, in July this year, Connor was back in hospital in July this year after doctors found a tumour in his spine.

Following a brave fight, Connor died on Monday (October 18) with his family by his side.

His mum Clair said: “Sleep tight our gorgeous Connor, you fought hard and strong till the very end. You went to Valhalla like the warrior you are.

Connor Todd (right) with his mum Clair, dad Michael and sisters Aimee and Josie at the European Championships at Wembley in the summer.

"We know it has been a rough 19 months for you but we are so blessed and so proud to have been by your side through it all.

"I think we can all agree that our strength comes from seeing you and the way you have kept your positive attitude in the face of everything.

"We are so grateful for all the opportunities you got and the lives you were able to touch with your humour and beautiful heart.

"There are no words for the loss we feel now six has become five but thank you so much for being a part of our lives and fundamentally shaping us as the family we are today.”

Connor Todd in action at Blyth Rugby Club.

Writing on Twitter, his sister Chloe wrote: “I’m so proud to call you my brother Connor, your money and determination will help so many people.”

Tributes have been pouring in for the loved teenager.

Connor, who was a big rugby fan and was part of Blyth Rugby Club, was joined in March by players from Newcastle Falcons on the final leg of his fundraising walk.

Dean Richards, director of rugby at Newcastle Falcons, said: “We were all desperately sad to hear of Connor’s passing.

Connor Todd and his mum Clair present a cheque to Toon to Town at St James' Park following his fundraising efforts earlier this year.

"He and his family were such an inspiration when they came to run round our stadium and meet the players last season.

"Our condolences go out to a wonderful family who are experiencing such a sad loss.”

Blyth Rugby Club said that any team playing this weekend will hold a minute’s applause at the start of the match in memory of Connor.

Jimmy Halsius, of Blyth Rugby Club, said: “Connor began his rugby journey as an 8 year old boy at Blyth RFC, where since then I've had the privilege and pleasure of knowing him, learning from him and coaching him.

"He brought an incredible sense of humour and cheekiness to everyone that came to know him.

"As a player he played the game with respect and enjoyment where his lightning pace and ferocious tackling made an impact in every game he played.

“Despite 18 operations and several rounds of chemotherapy, Connor never lost his sense of humour and positive outlook on life.

"In the middle of his darkest and biggest battle, Connor set out on a massive fundraising effort; “Connors Run 4 Cancer”, where despite not being able to walk unaided he completed his challenge.

"It shows the mark of the person that despite his own personal biggest battle his first thought was “How can I help another child going through this?”.”

Staff and students at Bede Academy paid tribute to Connor, who was known for loving sport, his famous sense of humour and for being naturally friendly and very popular with everybody.

Principal Andrew Thelwell said: "Those closest to Connor could not help but admire and respect him, especially when he went through such testing and challenging times.

“In spite of all he went through Connor did not give up, fighting with tremendous courage and fortitude. He received tremendous support and care from the surgeons, doctors and nurses, alongside the devoted loving care from his family.”

Mr Thelwell added: “Connor never stopped thinking about others experiencing similar trauma.

"He wanted to do something to help and launched a fundraiser – Connor’s-run-4-cancer. This was a massive challenge for Connor, but he did not give up and he raised a huge amount of money for his chosen charities.

"Tragically, Connor suffered a relapse and we have lost a most highly valued member of the Bede family.

"Words cannot describe the heartfelt sorrow shared by all at Bede and the wider community. Connor was a real hero, great friend to many and example to us all."

Liz Luff, from the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation, said: “Connor was a remarkable young man who impressed us all with his incredible determination to complete the fundraising challenge he’d set himself.

“He raised over £16,000 for a number of charities that were important to him and we’re very proud that he chose to include us in that list.

“On behalf of the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation, I was privileged to hear Connor’s dad, Michael, talking about his son at a recent fundraising dinner in Seaton Burn. His great love for his son, his pride and his admiration for his courage touched everyone in the room.

“Our heartfelt sympathies are with Connor’s family and friends.”

Former Newcastle United goalkeeper Shay Given took to Instagram to write: “I had the privilege to meet Connor Todd at the Newcastle United game on Sunday, he filled me me with laughter and fun and a will for life.

"No words can help but just to say to his mum Clair and dad Michael and his three sisters Aimee, Chloe and Josie that we lost a real character and to remember all those amazing times u had with him, rest easy Connor, toon legend.”