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Sterling Cup golfers raise £10,000 for Archie Wilks appeal



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Indie Child of Courage Archie Wilks was guest of honour at a golf day that raised £10,000 for his pioneering cancer treatment.

The five-year-old, who lives in Newport with his identical twin Henry and their parents Harriet and Simon, is getting ready for further radiotherapy.

In May, he had a kidney removed along with the tumour – a stage 4 high-risk neuroblastoma – that was first detected in January 2019.

Rod Wellard's Black Hats triumphed 7-5 against Paul Copeland's White Hats team in the Ryder Cup-style event
Rod Wellard's Black Hats triumphed 7-5 against Paul Copeland's White Hats team in the Ryder Cup-style event

Once his extended treatment, including further immunotherapy at Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge, is complete, his family aim to take him to America for ground-breaking treatment.

Over the past year, supporters have raised more than £230,000 for a vaccination course at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, a world-renowned treatment and research institution in New York.

Dad Simon's employer, Bishop's Stortford insurance broker Sterling, boosted the total with a golf day at Manor of Groves in High Wych.

Archie Wilks and dad Simon, left, with White Hats team captain Paul Copeland
Archie Wilks and dad Simon, left, with White Hats team captain Paul Copeland

More than 40 players took part and Simon said: "We're so grateful for the support shown for Archie and the funds raised by the Sterling Cup golf tournament.

"Archie enjoyed seeing a few balls being hit and presenting the trophy to the winner. Everyone had a great day, and it was amazing to see people come together and have fun to help Archie."

Rod Wellard's Black Hats triumphed 7-5 against Paul Copeland's White Hats team in a Ryder Cup-style event that saw Rob Balls (nearest the pin), Terry McDowell (longest drive) and the duo of Martyn Holman and Nick Giddings (overall team score) take the prizes. Archie presented the trophy to the winning team captain before participants enjoyed drinks and a barbecue.

A host of insurance companies sponsored holes or supported the event, which looks set to become an annual fixture to raise money for good causes.

Sterling Cup winners Rod Wellard's Black Hats
Sterling Cup winners Rod Wellard's Black Hats

As well as attending the golf tournament, Archie – who was joint winner in the Child of Courage category at the 2019 Indies community awards along with 17-year-old Birchwood High School student Katie Callaghan – has been enjoying sessions at Newport Primary School with Henry before his next round of treatment.

Harriet, a former student at Herts and Essex High School, and Simon, who attended Newport Free Grammar, now Joyce Frankland Academy, will have a double challenge as Henry will also be in hospital to have his adenoids and tonsils removed after two years' waiting.

Both boys have been battlers from birth. They suffered from twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome while in the womb and had life-saving laser surgery.

To support the Wilks family, see www.justgiving.com/campaign/archiesjourney.

READ ALSO Four-year-old Archie Wilks' recovery from Covid-19 during cancer treatment inspires families

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