Oliver Gatenby

Age: 10 From: North Yorkshire

Oliver Gatenby, Kimberly Wyatt & Will Gore

Oliver Gatenby, Kimberly Wyatt & Will Gore

Born with a rare birthmark (Venous Malformation) on his face, Oliver has shown strength, determination and courage in dealing with both multiple operations to reduce the swelling, and the reactions of strangers. Oliver has cleverly adopted some coping strategies to deal with the latter, who regularly ask how he has hurt his face. Oliver will chirpily reply “it’s a birthmark” and changes the subject – mature and courageous beyond his years.

When challenged by his school in 2015 to raise some money for charity, Oliver immediately suggested a sponsored bike ride with his Dad, in support of ‘Birthmark Support Group’. He took his sponsorship form around the community and was delighted with even the smallest donation to his cause.

On 10th June 2016 Oliver and his Dad completed the 101km bike ride along the Yorkshire Dales and back in under 6 hours. Oliver said ‘I would have done it quicker if Dad hadn’t been so slow’ – testimony to his humour and determination not be held back. Oliver raised over £2,500 and this has helped to purchase a new ultrasound machine at the James Cook Memorial Hospital in Middlesborough, where he himself underwent Bleomycin treatment several years ago.