YOU inevitably tackle an enormous range of stories and issues to report on in this job, which is one of the best things about it.

Some are happy, some are awful, and many somewhere in between the two. A number stay with you, and such was the case with young Fintan Morley-Smith, diagnosed with eye cancer when he was just a few months old (see page 7).

I met Fintan in early 2009, when he was about 19-months-old, and have never forgotten him. I went to his parents’ home to interview the family about father James’ fundraising London Marathon bid and to find out more about the horrible disease afflicting their son. Naturally, I was braced for a bleak atmosphere – while the cancer seemed to be on the back foot at the time, Fintan was far from out of the woods (as the later loss of both his eyes proved).

What I found, though, was a lively, laughing toddler who – if not for the obvious signs of his illness – gave no hint of the grim ordeal he was going through, both in terms of the cancer and the hard-going treatments. In fact, if I recall correctly, he spent most of my visit dashing and bouncing about the living room like any other terrifyingly overactive toddler.

Of course, as a parent you hope your child will never have to go through anything like that – it is cruel, unfair and as horrific a piece of news as you could imaginably receive from a trip to the doctor’s. But even then, Fintan had very little in common with the preconception I had of a sickly, subdued young child battling an awful disease. In fact, he was more exuberant and cheerful than many of us lucky enough to go through most of life without the slightest hint of serious illness.

He had incredibly hard days, of course, but he was an inspiring little boy then, and, on speaking to his dad again, ahead of his latest fundraising marathon bid for the charity that helped the family through their crisis, it seems he very much remains so.

There are, of course, a bewildering number of good causes out there worthy of support, and the Childhood Eye Cancer Trust is just one of them. Indeed, we feature a number in this week’s newspaper – and every week, come to that.

There is the brilliant work of the Rennie Grove charity, which cares for the desperately ill in their own homes – and which inspired so many to take part in the Chilterns Cycle Challenge last weekend. And then the heartfelt appeal from the Twohiggs family for funding to help create a sensory room at their home to help ten-year-old daughter Cassie, who suffers from the rare regressive condition of Rett syndrome.

Recently we have covered the huge outpouring of support for Nina’s Fund – which has seen tens of thousands raised for new mum Nina Langley, 32, of Marlow Bottom, for the specialist treatment her family hope can battle the cancer she has been diagnosed with.

And these are the tip of the iceberg, especially in these times of service cuts to key organisations. Despite this abundance of charitable demands, though, it is always impressive how readily so many people in Bucks seem willing to give their time or money to others so desperately in need.