April 25, 2014 6:46 pm

Boy, 10, to fundraise for brain cancer research in memory of friend

Watch video above: Etobicoke school set to remember boy, 8, who died of brain cancer. Cindy Pom reports. 

They couldn’t communicate in the conventional world because of their speech delays but two young boys shared a bond that needed no words.

Now, Piero Gallucci, 10, wants the world to remember James McKeddie, who passed away from brain tumours in April, 2013.

Gallucci is non-verbal developmentally delayed and it was in McKeddie, who also had speech issues, that he found a lasting friendship.

“James was my best friend. We sat together in class, we played ball. But most of all we loved everything about Thomas the Train. I really miss my best friend and buddy James,” he told Global News through an audio program on his iPad

Piero and James in a photo from their first communion

Family handout

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To mark the anniversary of McKeddie’s death, Father Serra Catholic School in Etobicoke, where McKeddie and Gallucci were classmates, will hold a soccer tournament in order to raise money for paediatric brain tumour research at SickKids hospital.

There have been promising leads in eradicating child brain tumours, according to Dr. Uri Tabori, the neuro-oncologist who treated McKeddie.

Tabori told Global News that doctors have developed a pill that, when swallowed, appears to be effective in dissolving brain tumours.

“So that’s the dream, isn’t it?” said Dr. Tabori.“We can give that pill to these children and hopefully change their future. ”

But Dr. Tabori cautioned that the testing is still in its very early phase.

It is unclear whether the pill could be used on its own to treat brain tumours, or whether it would be used in combination with chemotherapy and radiation.

The soccer tournament will be held at 9am on Friday, May 2, 2014 at Father Serra in Etobicoke (111 Sun Row Drive).

All proceeds will go toward the James Gordon Brodie McKeddie Fund for Paediatric Brain Tumour Research at SickKids and the  b.r.a.i.n.child fund that offers support to families with children suffering from a brain tumour.

Anyone hoping to make a donation can visit the SickKids Donations website.

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