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Torch helps to light up lives
THE father of late cancer fundraiser Jake Spicer has been using his Olympic Torch to light up the lives of seriously-ill children.
Michael Spicer was one of four MINI Oxford workers to take the flame through the plant on Monday.
Mr Spicer, of Greater Leys, was nominated to carry the Olympic Flame as it came to Oxford for his tireless charity work which he has carried on in his son’s name after his death three years ago.
Before he passed away, St Gregory the Great School pupil Jake was cared for at the Helen and Douglas House Hospice, in east Oxford, and the Oxford Children’s Hospital.
Mr Spicer said he took the torch to the hospice so the other children and young people could experience what it is like to be a torchbearer for a day.
He said: “I wanted it to be used for something positive.
“It just seemed like a nice thing to do to take it to the hospice so the children could see and hold it.”
Jake passed away in 2009, aged 15, following a heroic five-and-a-half year fight against bone cancer.
During his short life he raised thousands of pounds for charity, a role his father and family have taken on in his name.
Next the torch is to be taken to the Oxford Children’s Hospital, where it will stay for a few days before being taken back to the Spicer family home, in Shepherd’s Hill.
Mr Spicer said: “We will have it home afterwards.
“We won’t be selling it.
“We’ll make sure we hide it away somewhere safe.”
Lauren Twomey, nine, from Woburn Green in Buckinghamshire, has been visiting Helen House for six years.
She said: “It was a bit awkward to hold because it was heavy, but it was fun and I felt really proud.”
Jackie Ardley, has been nursery nurse at Helen House for eight years.
She said: “It was so great to have Michael Spicer carry the torch for us in memory of his son Jake, who used to come to Helen House, and such a lovely thing to allow us to have it here.
“It has created a great deal of excitement and lots of people have wanted to have their photo taken with it.”