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Oran touches hearts of 125th anniversary Blades

30 September 2014

The touching story of an 18-year-old's battle with cancer inspired the guests at Sheffield United's 125th anniversary celebrations to donate £15,000 to Weston Park Hospital Cancer Charity.

The sell-out 1,200 audience heard the story of college student Oran Kenyon, from Doncaster, who was diagnosed with primary bone cancer in January 2013.

Such was Oran's story - he spoke passionately from the stage alongside Sheffield United legend Chris Morgan who is a patron of the charity - that Sheffield businessman Mark Holland from John Holland Sales donated £5,000.

Since his diagnosis Oran has received treatment on Weston Park Hospital's dedicated teenage unit, benefiting from the specialised environment and provisions made there for young cancer patients.

The unit, which treats teenagers and young adults aged 16-25, receives support from Weston Park Hospital Cancer Charity to help the patients through their cancer journey, and to make the surroundings feel like a home-from-home.

Oran also underwent complex surgery to remove part of his pelvis, meaning that he was unable to walk for approximately a year.

Despite his distressing diagnosis and treatment, Oran has bravely managed to successfully pass 11 GSCE exams has recently completed his AS levels, gaining an A* and an A grade. He is now hoping to study to complete his A Levels with the hope of becoming a teacher.

After sharing his story on stage, Oran was presented with a Sheffield United shirt with the name Kenyon and the number 18 printed on the back, to mark his recent 18th birthday.

On hand to present the special shirt to Oran was ex-Sheffield United player Chris Morgan, who was voted the club's greatest ever captain on the night, and John Holland Sales business owner Mark Holland.

Mark said: "Oran's story is remarkable. We do a lot of charity work and we're delighted to donate to Weston Park Hospital Cancer Charity as it is such a great cause."

Tina Harrison, Deputy Director at Weston Park Hospital Cancer Charity, said: "We are absolutely overwhelmed by the support we received at the Sheffield United 125th anniversary dinner which helped raise an outstanding £15,000. Mark's individual donation was fantastic.

"Thanks to the generosity of people on the night and cancer patient, Oran Kenyon, who told his brave story, we are able to continue funding vital projects which ultimately improves the treatment and care for over 60,000 cancer patients across our region.

"Sheffield United FC has been an avid supporter of the cancer charity and we felt very privileged to be part of this historic celebration. We are honoured to continue working with them during our 20th year and their 125th anniversary."

Throughout 2014, the charity is marking its 20th anniversary by funding a wide variety of projects for the hospital, including the completion of the new Clinical Research Unit and the Day Case reception refurbishment.

Sheffield United's Operations Director Dave McCarthy said: "Oran's story was remarkable and brought the audience to its feet. We had hoped the event would provide an opportunity to raise vital funds for the Charity but we had never expected to receive such a response and to raise such an amount of money.

"The generosity of Mark and all the other guests was outstanding and we are truly grateful for their support."

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