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The boy who wants to give back

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Hanging out with dad is something a lot of teenage boys take for granted, but not Sachio Harrison.

He almost lost his father Wesley, to a benign brain tumour five years ago.

These days the 15-year-old is grateful not just to have his father with him, but also to the people who helped his family during their darkest hours.

He's organised a walkathon at his school, Somersfield Academy, to express his gratitude. He hopes to raise $15,000 for two organisations that helped his family — LCCA and cancer charity PALS.

“I was ten years old when my father got sick,” said Sachio.

“At first he was having seizures, but we weren't really sure if that was what it was. Then he had a bad one at 3am.”

Not long after that episode, Mr Harrison was diagnosed with a benign brain tumour in the front of his brain and was sent to Lahey Clinic in Burlington, Massachusetts for treatment.

“It is a terrible feeling when you have a parent who is sick and you're not sure if they will come back,” Sachio said.

“Luckily, the doctors were able to go in and take out the tumour.”

Mr Harrison is an independent construction worker. Sachio's mother, Dia, doesn't work and they could not afford the surgery.

LCCA helps needy people pay for medical treatment abroad.

Those helped are expected to pay the money back later, if they can.

“When the LCCA helped us, that was a huge load off our shoulders,” said Sachio, who attends the private school on scholarship.

The teenager is raising the money as part of his M5 personal project at Somersfield.

“We started thinking about our project at the end of M4,” he said. “I knew I wanted to do something about the brain and brain tumours.”

His family was thrilled when he said he wanted to help the LCCA. When he approached the charity, they suggested he do the walk-a-thon.

“They helped me a lot with this,” he said. “At first I was just going to donate to the LCCA, but then my family decided to donate to PALS also, because they helped my grandfather when he had cancer. So the money will be split between the two charities.”

On December 19, older students will run or walk Somersfield's three-mile cross-country route. Each will aim to raise at least $50. Younger students will walk laps around the school field, raising between $20 and $40 each.

“It actually works out to be more than $15,000,” said Sachio, “but I figured that some students probably won't make a donation.”

Sachio, is an honour student at Somersfield and loves math and puzzles. He hopes to eventually become an actuary.

Last year, he won an award for doing 185 community service hours during the school year. He will receive the Youth Volunteer Award from the Centre on Philanthropy later this month.

“I am a Jehovah's Witness,” said Sachio. “We try to do community events. We go to people's homes and teach them about the Bible. A lot of people let us come in and talk with them. We live in hard times now and there are a lot of bad things going on and some people might lose hope. We try to go to people's homes and give them encouragement.”

To make a donation to Sachio's project contact Rio Morton at 239-3349 or rmorton@somersfield.bm. Alternatively, call the LCCA on 292-1132 or PALS on 236-7257.

Expressing thanks: Somersfield Academy student Sachio Harrison, 15, organiser of a school-wide walkathon to raise $15,000 for the LCCA and PALS
Somersfield Academy student Sachio Harrison, 15, hopes to raise $15,000 for the LCCA and PALS through a school-wide walkathon. (Photo by Nicola Muirhead)
Somersfield Academy student Sachio Harrison, 15, decided to raise $15,000 for the LCCA and PALS to thank them for helping his family. (Photo by Nicola Muirhead)

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Published December 03, 2014 at 8:00 am (Updated December 03, 2014 at 1:50 am)

The boy who wants to give back

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