A Lancing boy who passed away in 2014 is living on through the charity he set up before his death.
In 2012, Jack Bray began fundraising for The Brain Tumour Charity while battling his own illness, selling grey wristbands and helping to organise charity bike rides with his family.
Two years later, Jack sadly lost his fight with cancer, but his legacy lives on through the remarkable fundraising work of his family – mum Andrina, dad Dan and sister Nicole – who hold events every year to celebrate Jack’s birthday.
Andrina, 40, said creating something positive from such a tragic situation was typical of her son.
“It’s so important to keep Jack’s memory alive,” she said,
“We want everyone to know what an amazing, superhero of a boy we had. He never complained once.
“When he relapsed, me and his dad cried and he said ‘don’t cry, it’s alright’. The minute he got cancer he turned into the young man that we imagined he would become.”
Jack’s charity, The Jack Bray Fund, has raised £57,477.11 so far through sponsored bike rides and charity balls, with auctions, raffles and donations.
August 20 this year would have been Jack’s 18th, so the family are hosting a Las Vegas themed ball at the Grand Hotel on Brighton seafront.
Andrina said Jack loved ‘a bit of a gamble’ at Worthing Pier, playing on the slot machines and arcades, so the Vegas themed event was fitting for his 18th birthday.
They have even had artwork donated by notorious prisoner Charles Bronson, now known as Charles Salvador in an attempt to distance himself from his violent past, to auction at the ball.
Salvador, who was famously portrayed by Tom Hardy in the film Bronson, has been a great support through letters and donations, according to Andrina, after his brother also died from a brain tumour.
Donations go towards raising vital funds for research into brain cancer.
While Andrina was quick to defend the treatment Jack received from the NHS, she said raising money for the ‘under-funded’ brain cancer research was a major part of their work.
She said: “We believe more needs to be done. If more money had been put into brain tumours and more was known about it, we believe Jack would have had a better chance of surviving.”
Jack’s Las Vegas themed 18th birthday ball is set to take place on August 24 at the Grand Hotel in Brighton.
The Brays are still looking for a host for the charity auction, so any willing volunteers, or anyone looking to donate, can do so through www.thebraintumourcharity.org/get-involved/our-supporter-groups/supporter-groups/groups/the-jack-bray-fund/