A Viking-themed funeral has been held to mark the second anniversary of the loss of a Pinner teenager, to launch a charity in his memory.
William Low lived with his mum and dad, Helen and Craig, and older sister Harriet in Pinner, and was only 17 when he passed away on August 11, 2017 from a brain tumour.
William was diagnosed at five-years-old with a tumour the size of an orange after complaining of head, neck and leg aches over several weeks that made him sick and tired.
His parents had taken him to A&E on numerous occasions, but it was only when he had an emergency MRI scan that the devastating truth was revealed that William had a cancerous medulloblastoma brain tumour.
William underwent surgery, followed by radiotherapy and chemotherapy and against the odds he recovered, learned to walk again and returned to Cannon Lane Primary School.
When William was 13 and a student at Haydon Secondary School, he and his family had to face the crushing news that the brain tumour was back.
Mum, Helen Low, said: “Will underwent further brain surgery, more chemo and radiotherapy, as well as a stem cell transplant. It was heart-wrenching to see him suffering and there were many times his life hung in the balance.
“In July 2016 when Will was 16, a routine scan showed that new tumours had appeared in his spine and at the tender age of 17, Will reached the end of the road.”
On the second anniversary of Will’s death the Low family chose to launch The William Low Trust, a Member Charity of Brain Tumour Research to help fund research into finding more effective treatments and ultimately a cure for brain tumour patients.
Helen said: “The launch event included a Viking-themed funeral, as Will had expressed an interest in having such a funeral a few days after he was diagnosed for the third time. He loved watching legendary heroic, historic films and series since he was little.
“We invited friends and family, a few of Will’s nurses and some staff from his secondary school to the boat club where Will and his sister sailed.
“A good friend built us a Viking boat, and another built a float, which we sailed round the island on the lake, taking the very route that Will and his sister had sailed.
“It was such a beautiful and very poignant occasion with lights at dusk. I read a poem ‘Where are you William?’ and our flag with our new charity logo flapped in his honour in the wind.
“It was very emotional, but we felt that setting up this charity would be such an amazing legacy for Will. If we can help make a difference for future brain tumour patients, then Will’s death won’t have been in vain.”
For more information and to donate to The William Low Trust go to thewilliamlowtrust.org.uk