A COMMUNITY has pulled together to raise funds for a courageous 11-year-old boy who has undergone life-saving surgery to remove a brain tumour.

Charlie Reid, of Egremont, was diagnosed at the West Cumberland Hospital in Whitehaven after returning from holiday in Turkey, where he had experienced a loss of coordination.

His dad Howard Kirkbride said: “He was barging into people and the sunbeds. We were playing cards and he’d go to reach for the card but his hand was miles away.”

Whitehaven News: Charlie Reid was taken to the West Cumberland Hospital after returning home from a holiday in TurkeyCharlie Reid was taken to the West Cumberland Hospital after returning home from a holiday in Turkey (Image: Family handout)

Charlie’s family were given the devastating news that he had a four-inch tumour in the back of his head. He was transferred to the RVI in Newcastle on August 6 and then underwent two operations to remove the tumour.

Only 80 per cent of the tumour was removed during the initial seven-hour surgery as Charlie lost a large amount of blood. The second operation was carried out three days later. Scans have revealed a tiny amount of tumour has been left and this will now be monitored for further growth.

Brave Charlie has been left completely blind following the second surgery and it is not yet known if his sight will return. But he has a positive outlook and has started a phased return to school.

Mr Kirkbride said: “I can’t believe how strong he’s been. He’s taken it all in his stride. He’s been great.

“The only downfall is he was sport-mad. He used to play football for Windscales and cricket for the county U12s.

Whitehaven News: Charlie enjoyed playing football for Windscales before his diagnosisCharlie enjoyed playing football for Windscales before his diagnosis (Image: Family handout)

“They are hoping his sight might come back. It could take up to 12 months but there’s nothing guaranteed.

“It’s hard for him because he left Bookwell Primary School and should have started West Lakes Academy in September. It’s a new school he doesn’t know.

“We just get on with it and hope when he goes for his next scan that we get some good news.”

Marathon Man Gary McKee will now run a marathon to raise money for the family which will help with the costs incurred from going for treatment.

Mr McKee said: “We were always going to do a run in memory of Bill Arnott. He was one of my team when I was running last year. He passed away in August.

“I spoke to Bill’s family and we agreed we would try and help Charlie. We would use the run as an opportunity to remember Bill but also to raise funds for the costs incurred for Charlie going for treatment.

“Lots of people are coming together to organise their own events which will lead to raising more money and awareness and help the family in what is a very difficult time.”

Whitehaven News: Charlie received a letter of support from Liverpool FC following his diagnosisCharlie received a letter of support from Liverpool FC following his diagnosis (Image: Family handout)

A number of other fundraisers have been organised including an event at the Falcon Club in Egremont on November 24. It is being arranged Charlie’s sisters and John and Allison Maxwell, whose daughter Danica died in 2010 after battling a brain tumour.

A sponsored spinathon is also being held at Wath Brow Hornets Club.

Mr Kirkbride added: “What Gary does is unbelievable. He’s out of this world.

“We are going to the fundraiser at the Falcon Club and Charlie will just be overwhelmed because it’s all about him.”

To donate, go to: www.gofundme.com/f/supporting-the-family-of-charlie-kirkbride