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Walk from Holmer Green in memory of heroic son
IT was an emotional day on Sunday for Amanda Dunkerton as she walked with family and friends in memory of her son who died aged 15.
Amanda helped organise the Hero Walk in memory of Rob Holland who died in 2007 on September 4 from Desmoplastic Small Round Cell Tumour.
Yesterday it was two days before the fifth anniversary of his death and about 40 of Rob's family and friends walked from Holmer Green Senior School to Kingsmead where he used to play rugby and to his grave at High Wycombe Cemetery.
Some dressed up in super hero themed outfits. A total of £800 was raised.
Amanda, who also has a son called Steven, said: "I came here [to his grave] already this morning. It is actually a bit emotional.
"It is nice everyone remembers Robert and have come along and paid their respects.
"It is a nice but sad way to remember him. He is a hero.
"The head of Rob's school, Mike Jones, is here, who was Rob's hero. He always thought he was the best teacher."
The head of Holmer Green Senior School, Mike Jones, where Rob went to school said he was there because he knew Robert well and also as a representative from the school.
He said: "He was a really nice normal kid, like a lot of his friends here today.
"He was in year ten when the illness came. It was a massive shock to all of the staff as well as the students."
He added: "Rob was incredibly normal. What his story tells you is that actually when he was faced with what he was faced with he showed courage and a true strength of character.
"What I personally believe is that it is in there already."
A charity, Rob's ARTTT, was set up in his honour to raise money to fund research into the disease, which is a rare form of cancer.
Amanda, and Rob and Steven's dad, Chris continue to fundraise each year.
Her cousin, Denise Chappell, and her daughter, Katie, came up with the idea to do the walk. Katie ran the 10K Race for Life in July and wanted to do some more fundraising for Robert.
She said: "I was meant to see Rob on the Saturday and then he passed away on the Tuesday. I didn't get to say goodbye.
"Everything I do is for him. I continue to fundraise."
She has a tattoo on her wrist in memory of him. Katie said while she was running the 10k race she made a playlist of upbeat songs.
She said: "I was just starting to give up when One Sweet Day by Mariah Carey came on, which wasn't on the playlist. I said that must be Rob. I finished the race listening to that song."
Rob's friend from school, Lucy Beirne, said: "Today means so much. It is a nice way to remember him.
"It is so nice to have everyone together. I can't believe it has been five years. "It shows how important he was to everyone. Everyone still misses him so much."
The charity is in its third year of research. So far they have; obtained preserved tumour and cell line for DSRCT research; analysed all the genes in DSRCT - useful for current and future work; know what a DSRCT tumour looks like at the molecular level for all of our genes (est 20,000 to 30,000 genes) and found 77 different genes that could be important in DSRCT if they block the function of these 77 genes.
Visit www.robsarttt.co.uk or call Amanda on 07791540014 for more details.
The charity needs to raise £34,000 per year to keep the research going.
If you would like to donate click here
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