Brave young cancer survivor Oliver Smith is heading for a championship stock car contest – almost six years to the day since he was first struck down with the disease.
Oliver was diagnosed with T-cell lymphoma, a form of cancer affecting the blood cells, after falling ill on a family holiday in Majorca at the age of three – but he fought hard to overcome it and was eventually declared cancer free two years ago.
And now, almost six years on from his initial diagnosis on November 5 2011, Oliver is fighting fit and competing in stock car racing.
Nine-year-old Oliver will be joined by the rest of his family – mum Laura, dad Billy and younger brother Alfie – as he aims to end the racing season on a high at the Scottish championship this weekend.
Oliver races a micro f2 stock car which takes the Smiths all over the country from Cornwall to Skegness to Buxton from March until November.
During that time he has worked his way from being the lowest grade to becoming superstar grade, making his family immensely proud and earning a generous trophy collection along the way.
Oliver’s health is continuing to improve, and he was recently put on six-monthly check-ups instead of every three months.
However, he suffers from cognitive issues such as memory loss and retaining information, due to the extensive chemotherapy he had to endure over three-and-a-half years.
As a result, Ellel St John’s Primary School pupil Oliver struggles with some of his day-to-day school life.
“That’s why it’s so good that he’s got his racing,” Laura, who lives in Galgate, said. “He doesn’t have the same pressure that he has in school.
“He’s so happy and confident, it’s lovely to see.
“He is a completely different child when he’s at the race track, possibly due to the fact none of the kids he races with knew him during his worse times of being poorly, so they don’t see him any different to any other child and don’t know what problems he has to face with his daily struggles.”