WORTHY CAUSE: Fundraising night inspired by Broadford youngster

Harris Morrison with parents Peter and Ruth,
pictured on his return to school in 2021
. Pic Willie Urquhart

Skye emergency service workers will stage a bumper fundraising night this weekend, inspired by a local lad’s courageous battle with cancer.

The Generation Game night, which will see members of the local police, fire, ambulance and hospital crews being set a series of surprise challenges, is taking place in Kyleakin Hall on Saturday evening.

All the proceeds are going to a campaign to purchase specialised medical equipment to aid children’s oncology services in the Highlands.

Local nurse Kathleen MacDonald, who is the main organiser, said she was motivated to act by the story of Broadford boy Harris Morrison.

Harris received 19 months of treatment after first being diagnosed with neuroblastoma in 2019. During that time, as well as spending time in hospital in Aberdeen, Harris, and parents Ruth and Peter, went back and forth to Glasgow where Harris received radiotherapy and stem cell harvest treatment.

He returned home and was able to continue his education at Broadford Primary from the autumn of 2021, but the cancer – which was cleared but never cured – came back earlier this year.

The family returned to Aberdeen earlier this month and nine-year-old Harris is now in the stages of palliative care.

Kathleen said the local fundraising efforts will help purchase medical pumps that allow treatments like Chemotherapy to be administered at home. Their usage allows sick children the chance to get home for special occasions like Christmas or to attend family celebrations.

She added: “The pumps cost £5000 each, but there are none in the Highlands. The team based at Raigmore are currently borrowing a set from Aberdeen. 

“It is already planned to name the devices the ‘Harris Pumps’ and he has been such an inspiration in the community.

“It’s heartbreaking what Harris and his family are going through, but hopefully we can play a small part in helping other families who face similar circumstances.”

Speaking to the Free Press before they left for Aberdeen, Ruth and Peter Morrison thanked the community for all the support they had received over the past four years.

Harris’s mum Ruth said: “It’s bittersweet for us now, but while the pumps won’t help Harris, they will aid others.

“Our experience tells us that childhood cancer is not that rare.

“These hospital wards are full and we just want people to be aware of the number of people it does affect.”

Peter added: “In an ideal world the NHS would be able to provide all of these things, but the reality is different.

“What people like Kathleen are doing is incredible and it will make a big difference because there really is no place like home.

“To be in hospital wards at times like Christmas can be so tough for families.

“The community has been tremendous, and the school fantastic  – everyone knows Harris and they have taken him to their hearts.

“We’re hugely appreciative of all the support we have had.”

Tickets for Saturday’s Generation Game event have now sold out, but donations and reserve bids can still be made for the auction.

Items to be offered include a Belladrum family glamping package worth over £1000, self-catering stays in Harris, Eilean Donan Castle and Inverness, and artwork from Nigel Grounds, Hope Blamire and Jay Nottingham. 

To donate or bid, email kathleen.macdonald4@nhs.scot or message through the Generation Game page on Facebook.