Having survived cancer after being diagnosed as a five-year-old boy, Charlie Williams is on a mission to raise awareness and help others.
Last week, that mission took him to a TV studio in London where he sang with American superstar Nicole Scherzinger and 19 other young cancer survivors as part of Channel 4’s Stand up to Cancer, which aired on Friday night.
Unfazed by appearing on television in front of millions of people, Charlie said he was not nervous, describing the event as “a fantastic experience”.
After helping with many fundraising events for Cancer Research UK since being given the all-clear, the 15-year-old, who is soon to sit his GCSEs, was asked by the charity if he wanted to get involved in singing in a choir with other survivors.
“At first, I was unsure,” said Charlie. “But when I looked into it and saw recordings of the previous programmes, I thought I wanted to do it and encourage people to raise money.
“It’s not something you do every day. It was nice to get involved and be part of something.”
Speaking about Nicole, he said she was lovely, adding that the 36-year-old “didn’t want to leave” after speaking with the young survivors.
Charlie, from Homefield in Boxford, said living with cancer had been tough, and he now wants to do what he can to help others.
“I was five, so I don’t remember much about it,” he said.
His mother, Beverly, however, does remember. “It was pretty awful really,” she said. “It was a long haul going through all the operations and not knowing the outcome.
“There’s a knock-on effect for all the family trying to work and pay the bills – your world stops.”
His drive to help others, she said, came from getting through it.
“The survival rate of what he had was not good,” she said. “He gives hope to others being diagnosed that there’s light at the end of the tunnel.”
The Thomas Gainsborough School student is now doing his best to make sure there are more survivors like him in the future.