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Boy with rare blood cancer takes part in motorbike rideout

Boy with rare blood cancer takes part in motorbike rideout

Published by Sarah Yeomanat 7:00am 1st September 2019.

A young boy battling a rare and incurable blood cancer is taking part in a motorbike rideout across Cornwall and Devon.

11-year-old Oliver Brown has had two bone marrow transplants in the last three years and is has been at Cornwall's Little Harbour hospice.

It is after his family recently received the devastating news there is nothing more doctors can do to treat the Plymstock boy's syndrome.

Back in July he was given the chance to be a cop for the day and spent time with Devon and Cornwall Police.

Now he has been invited to take part in a rideout with the project Bring On The Smiles (BOTS).


The community development project, based in Plymouth, help to raise awareness for children with cancer or in remission and their families.

BOTS distribute donations of toys and books to the children who need them, to help them smile.

The idea was started by Carla Antonia Riley-Wood to help children affected by cancer and other disabilities. She felt strongly about this as she had suffered from cancer as a child. 

At the age of 12 she lost her leg due to the cancer. Tragically, two years ago she was diagnosed with lung cancer and was told it was terminal. 

Carla kept fighting until the end, constantly trying to help the children who need her support. She lost her fight in February this year but her ambition and legacy continues with her daughter, Buffie Riley-Wood.


The rideout was the idea of little Dominic from Launceston, who was only 8-years-old when he came up with the plan.

He decided that he wanted to organise a motorcycle ride out to collect funds and teddies. The first ride was on 20th November 2016 and had approximately 50 bikes in attendance, raised £200 and collected 250 teddies.

"It is actually really tricky to think of ideas, but I've got my dad's biker group.

"I'm just over the moon that this is all happening to help all the people with cancer.

"I was feeling depressed for all the children suffering from life-threatening cancer that is spreading all around the world."

11-year-old Dominic, organiser


In 2017 there were over 70 bikes in attendance,  £231 was raised and the team collected a lot of books for kids. These were distributed between Children's Hospice Little Harbour in St Austell and CHICKS near Tavistock.

Last year's ride was unfortunately cancelled twice. 

Now this year Bring On The Smiles is planning to make it even bigger and better

The team were told about Oliver and his story, and how he really wanted to go on a motorbike ride to make some very special memories. 

An appeal went out to find someone who could bring him along and they have had dozens of offers of seats on bikes for both Oliver and his little brother.


"We never expected so many people offering to make a child's dreams come true, it's blown us away! 

"Oliver's parents have been speaking through Sharon Tiday, a family friend of theirs and special friend of Carla, and they are also astounded by the influx.

"We are really hoping to make this one of the biggest charity rideouts in the area, and so far we are very optimistic."

John Baggett, Bring On The Smiles

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