THE mum of a ‘beautiful’ little boy who passed away last year is on a mission to give back to the community who rallied to support her family.

Riley Blaker died aged just five in June 2016, after being diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour.

Mum Adele, who lives in Weymouth, appealed to the public to help cover the cost of experimental treatment to give her and husband Brian the chance to make memories with their son.

In an extraordinary response from the public, tens of thousands of pounds were raised overnight.

The pair were left overwhelmed with what Adele described as the ‘phenomenal’ support. But sadly, despite the treatment, Riley passed away.

This year, Adele has dedicated herself to giving back, running a half-marathon and leaping from a plane to raise funds for various charities and raise awareness of Riley’s condition, diffuse intrinsic pontine gliomas (DIPG) – a type of aggressive brain tumour which is difficult to treat.

And later this month a sponsored scoot along Weymouth seafront will take place, followed by a family fun day at the Pavilion.

Named Riley’s Red Racers in honour of her son, Adele hopes the event will allow other families to make memories with their own children.

The scoot is something Adele knows her own son would have enjoyed, and the inspiration came from a similar event which Riley’s friends undertook soon after St Nicholas and St Laurence Primary School pupil was diagnosed with the terminal illness in 2015.

Adele said: “It was just after he was diagnosed and we were in Southampton hospital with Riley having radiotherapy and a couple of the nursery mums and one of the staff pulled it all together. We actually managed to get back that weekend so Riley was part of it, which was wonderful. We’ve got really special memories of that.

“It just seemed to make sense that if we were going to do something, it should be something that he had previously enjoyed.”

The two charities Adele has chosen as beneficiaries are the Lexi May Trust and Abbie’s Army, which raises money for research into DIPG and also provides practical support for parents and families.

Adele said: “Lexi May had DIPG and I actually met her mum, because both of our children were affected. Lexi lost her battle in January 2016 and her family set up a trust which runs trips and days out for children with terminal illnesses.”

It’s also important to Adele to raise awareness of the condition, which so many people have not heard of. One child in the UK is diagnosed with the condition every nine days, and the average survival time after diagnosis is just nine months.

Adele said the support from people in Weymouth and beyond made a ‘massive difference’ in how she and Brian coped with the death of their son. It wasn’t only the money, but the kind messages, and Adele said she read every one.

“It was phenomenal. I am still struggling to get my head around it. After the initial diagnosis it took a week or so for the news to get out. My sister-in-law set up a fundraising page and within weeks they had raised £12,000 for us to go to Disneyland and spend time as a family, and to support us financially so we didn’t have to worry about work.

“Then, when the option of the experimental treatment came through we were faced with the prospect of having to find £50,000. That is a life-changing amount of money for people like us. And we had to think, is this realistic, are we wasting time and energy which we should be spending with Riley? It was a massive decision.”

Adele said she had ‘no confidence’ that enough money would be raised, and wasn’t prepared for what she said was an ‘outpouring of love’ from people she had never met once she and Brian decided to share Riley’s story.

“I read all the messages and comments. How can you not be touched by that response?”

There was never a hope of a cure for Riley, but his family hoped the treatment would give him up to another two years of life.

Tragically, it was not to be.

“The treatment started, and at first they thought it was going well. Then, as time went on, he just became more poorly. The drugs they gave him didn’t work and scans showed the make-up of his tumour was resistant to them.”

Despite everything, Adele has no regrets.

“I firmly believe we were right to make that decision. He didn’t suffer. He would have been poorly anyway. We were told on the Monday that there was nothing more they could do and he passed on the Thursday. It was horrendous, but there was no prolonged period.”

She added: “We did everything we could. And if we hadn’t tried then, as his parents, we would have had to live with that, and that would have been far worse.”

Fun day to take place on September 24

RILEY’S Red Racers and family fun day takes place on Sunday, September 24.

The sponsored scoot will be from Weymouth Pavilion to the Jubilee Clock and back, and starts at 12pm, and the family fun day will take place from 1pm at the Pavilion.

There will be lots of children’s entertainment, including a bouncy castle, face painting, an ice princess, Minions and soft play. A raffle will also be held, with lots of prizes on offer.

Adele said organising the event had been a ‘group effort’ with lots of support from friends and family, Riley’s school and the wider community. She also thanked all the businesses who have offered sponsorship, raffle prizes and support.

Tickets cost £2.50 for adults and £5 for children, including the optional scoot, and there is a family ticket option available for £10 for two adults and up to three children. Tickets are available in advance from Hays Travel, Fixbike and Weymouth Pavilion.