A CUMBRIAN family who tragically lost their son during treatment for a brain tumour will take on another epic challenge to honour their beloved baby boy.

Rory was born in May 2019 to parents Amy and Matt Hall, who had met whilst working at the Theatre by the Lake in Keswick, where Matt worked and Amy had moved to as an actor.

At the age of four months the family began to notice that Rory had a slight squint in one of his eyes.

Amy took her baby son to the GP and later an eye specialist, who referred Rory to a children's hospital, who told the family that baby Rory had a tumour.

Following some treatment Rory was taken for surgery to remove as much of the tumour as could be from his brain, with a biopsy revealing the tumour was cancerous.

Speaking about Rory, Amy said: "He was so calm, he was a really calm baby. After the brain surgery the surgeon told us that in the most intense moments of the surgery, he was just cool as a cucumber and that really sums him up.

Baby Rory post surgeryBaby Rory post surgery (Image: Supplied)

"He was just really cool and really charming... a really easy baby."

Doctors gave Rory chemotherapy, but the intensity of the treatment became too much for his young body.

Amy said: "The first round of that was fine, then during the second round of chemo, he had a really bad reaction to the drugs. Because he was so young, the treatment had to be really intense.

"He contracted something called VOD (veno-occlusive disease)... his body just reacted really badly. On Christmas Day in 2019 he was admitted to intensive care and fought a really brave battle for a couple of weeks, but it was clear that nothing could be done.

"He was seven and a half months old when he died in January 2020."

Mummy and babyMummy and baby (Image: Supplied)

Since his death, Rory’s family and friends have raised nearly £67,000 in his memory for three different funds, supporting children with cancer and their families.

Their latest fundraising venture takes place this Sunday, at the Lakesman triathlon. Matt, Amy and Jim (Rory’s uncle) are taking on the relay event for the Children’s Cancer and Leukaemia Group (CCLG). So far they have raised over £3,000 and counting.

Speaking about the fundraising, Amy said: "Me and my husband personally felt like we really have to find something positive to come out of the tragedy of it all. We were so heartbroken, we still are.

"We've been so devastated by it that we are just desperate that it doesn't happen to other families and to be able to do something in his name and memory - it is so important to us.

Rory exhausted following chemotherapyRory exhausted following chemotherapy (Image: Supplied)

"Rory should have been starting at Threlkeld Primary this September, playing in the new village playground with his brother and sister, but instead cancer has ripped a hole in our family forever.

“CCLG work tirelessly to research childhood cancers and ensure that the kindest, most relevant treatment & care for these children and their families is always a priority.

"It wasn’t Rory’s cancer that killed him, it was his treatment, so this is really important to us. With the money raised, CCLG will be able to directly fund pioneering research projects into Rory's type of brain tumour.”

To donate to Rory’s fund, visit https://www.justgiving.com/page/teamrorylakesman and be sure to look out for Matt, Amy and Jim in their CCLG kit on Sunday. 

To read more about Rory’s journey, take a look at https://www.teamrory.co.uk/.