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Dad Mike Pavitt pledges to do 3,000 push-ups in honour of teenage son Ben who died of lymphoblastic T-cell lymphoma

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A FATHER is taking on a 3,000 push-up challenge after his son urged his family to help raise awareness of cancer research before dying of the disease at the age of 16.

Mike Pavitt’s son Ben passed away just 15 months after being diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic T-cell lymphoma.

Ben, described by his father as a "selfless and incredibly brave boy", told his family that he wanted them to raise awareness and vital funds for childhood cancer research to spare the pain of other families.

Ben Pavitt with one of his beloved cats
Ben Pavitt with one of his beloved cats

He was diagnosed with the disease after being rushed from the family home in Marchwood to Southampton General Hospital last summer with what his parents thought was a virus.

Ben received treatment including chemotherapy which ended with him going into remission.

Despite his illness he managed to pass his GCSEs and secured a place at college to study A-level maths, computer science and physics.

But he relapsed and died on 8th October.

Mike, who has already raised money for the hospital’s paediatric intensive care unit, will embark on his new press-up challenge in November and has already collected over £15,000 towards his target.

Mike and wife Suzie announced the loss of their “thrill-seeking, sporty” son on social media, saying: “It is with great sadness that we announce that our beautiful boy, our perfect and pure sunshine, our buddy and big brother, our great firstborn joy passed on to a better place shortly after 9pm last night, Friday 8th October 2021.

“He died peacefully at home in our arms, at last free from the insidious cancer against which he had fought so bravely for more than 15 months.

“Aged just 16 years, it is clear to anyone who knew him, or read any of the messages of support we have received during his incredible journey that he had touched more hearts and lives with his caring, keen wit and intellect than most people could hope to achieve in 60.

“He leaves behind an aching void not only in the centre of his adoring family but also his wide circle of friends around the world.

"No son, brother, student, teammate, gamer comrade, or fellow actor could ever have been loved so much, or given so much love in return.”

Praising the medical team who had cared for Ben, they added: “We are so grateful to the team at paediatric ICU who gave us another 15 months with Ben, and to the amazing staff of the Piam Brown ward who got him into remission which allowed him for some time to recover his health and even to smash his GCSEs out of the park.”

Ben, who has a younger sister Lauren, played football for Marchwood Rangers and local leagues held a minute’s silence in his memory after his death.

He had travelled to Rwanda with St Andrew’s Church, Dibden Purlieu, a few years ago.

It had been hoped that after relapsing and after receiving more treatment Ben could undergo a bone marrow transplant, but he became too ill to receive one. He told his parents he wanted to die at home surrounded by his family and his beloved cats.

His Funeral Service will take place at St Andrew’s Church, Dibden Purlieu on Monday 1st November at midday. Mourners are asked to wear colourful clothes and a face mask.

Donate to the Children's Cancer and Leukemia Group at specialnamedfunds.cclg.org.uk/ben-pavitts-legacy-of-love-fund or send c/o New Forest Funerals, Bank House, The Square, Fawley, SO45 1DD.

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