William’s story began when he arrived on his due date 28th December 1995 in Dover. He was a very lively and bright toddler and eager to learn. He was an active child and enjoyed swimming lessons and gym school, receiving many certificates along the way.
As William grew up he would channel his energy into playing football at every opportunity and was very proud, as was his mum, when he made the school football team. As well as playing football, William was extremely knowledgeable about the sport, especially his favourite team, Chelsea. He also liked to support his local team, Dover Athletic and would often watch them play.
Maureen, his mother, and her family have set up the William Doolin Fund to help other children and their families who may find themselves in a similar situation in the future. The aim is to raise funds specifically for research into medulloblastoma. This type of brain tumour is the most common primary central nervous system tumour in children and is also one of the most aggressive.
William continued to be very active and his after-school sessions included football training and matches, five-a-side, tennis, cricket and swimming lessons. He showed a particular talent for tennis and took part in a scholarship scheme.
In November 2005, after a tennis lesson (now aged 9), William complained of a bad headache. Over the next few days he started being sick in the mornings and felt dizzy. Having been diagnosed initially with an ear infection, an MRI scan showed William had a brain tumour – medulloblastoma. The illness quickly took its toll and although the operation to remove the tumour was successful, it affected his mobility and worse still had spread to his spine. William initially responded well to radiotherapy and chemotherapy, however in October we found out that the cancer had spread even further throughout his body.
William died aged just 10 years and 10 months on 20th October 2006, surrounded by his loving family.
William’s family and friends will remember his bravery (for which he won a special award from his Cub Group), and also his sense of humour which kept all of us strong throughout the last year. William will remain in all of our hearts and not a day will go by when we do not think of him.