IT’S been a month since brave Leon Rendle passed away after tragically losing his battle with a rare cancer.
His story touched the hearts of thousands across the city and his heartbroken family have been trying to “keep themselves busy” over the past few weeks in a bid to fill the void.
But instead of moping around in their free time, three of Leon’s best friends have been hard at work organising a charity event in his memory.
On Sunday, April 17, William Proudfoot, Kerr McKenzie and Liam Moffat, will be just three of the pupils from Leith Academy playing in a charity match at Spartans Community Football Academy.
The youngsters, who are all 16, wanted to do something to keep their best friend’s name in the spotlight and raise money for charities that were close to his heart.
All proceeds raised from the game will go towards Ward 2 at the Sick Kids Hospital and Kai’s Toddler Room.
William, who was one of Leon’s best friends for five years, said: “My friends and I just thought this would be a good way to remember Leon.
“We all really miss him – I can’t even describe how much. We hope he would be proud of us for organising this.”
Everyone is invited to the match, which will kick off at 5.30pm. As well as a charity football game, guests will have the opportunity to participate in a prize raffle, purchase food and make a donation.
William’s sister Kerry Proudfoot, 29, who has been helping to organise the event, said: “The boys really wanted to organise this on their own for Leon but obviously they needed help with hiring a pitch, so I stepped in and helped a bit.
“They have picked all the players for the match, who all have a sponsor sheet, and we have had some great prizes donated for the raffle already.
“They were all really close to Leon and what happened really hit them hard. They decided straight away they wanted to do something in his memory.”
Leon was diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma in 2013 – a rare condition which affects only around 30 children in the UK every year.
Leon had chemotherapy, surgery and a stem-cell transplant and went into remission, but the devastating news soon followed that the cancer had returned and was incurable. Sadly, on February 19 this year, Leon, a Hibs fan, lost his battle and died at home with his family by his side.
Nickie, Leon’s mum, told the News she still walks around her house and has a look into her son’s room, before it hits her that he’s no longer there.
She said: “It’s a great thing for the boys to do and I know Leon would really appreciate it.
“It’s important events like this are held to raise awareness for children’s cancer. We’ve all just been keeping busy.”