When 16 year-old Kasper began fundraising for cancer research, he had no idea that just a few months later he would be diagnosed with a rare childhood cancer himself.
Diagnosed in November with the rare childhood cancer Rhabdomysarcoma, the Year 11 pupil at Magdalen College School is currently receiving chemotherapy after numerous operations, which will be followed by radiotherapy.
To raise money for Kasper’s Childhood Cancer Research Trust, his brother Myron and friend Archie White have recorded a charity CD – LOVE IS. – alongside well known classical musicians, released this week.
Kasper said: “My own survival is not in my control but what is possible is making a positive difference to the outcomes of children who come after me.”
Kasper and his family, who live in East Oxford, now aim to raise as much money as possible for The Childhood Cancer Research Trust, to help other children living with cancer.
“THE DOCTORS AND NURSES CALL KASPER THEIR ‘SMILING MAN”’
His mother Oonah Buist says: “It’s been a rollercoaster ride complicated further by Covid. His cancer is so aggressive that it required surgeries to remove and stage the cancer that left Kasper so weak he couldn’t walk.
“The doctors and nurses call him their ‘smiling man’ but at the same time he fully understands the implications of his aggressive cancer. None of us know how this story will end.”
Despite his ongoing treatment, Kasper has continued with his GCSE studies and is set to receive his results this summer.
In the meantime, Archie (Year 10), and Myron, (Year 9), both former Choristers with Magdalen College Choir, teamed up to create the stunning album which boasts 21 tracks, all carefully arranged for two voices.
From Mozart to Morricone, Vivaldi to contemporary composer James Whitbourn, it’s a stunning collection of treble duets, supported by musical talents such as Michael Haslam, who wrote a unique set of arrangements especially for them, the Gabriel Quartet, organist Alex Pott and pianist Maki Sekiya.
Although no longer official choristers, Archie and Myron’s voices were still able to sing the stunning classic choral pieces that were then recorded.
As The Childhood Cancer Research Trust was originally conceived by Kasper’s grandmother, the LOVE IS. album was already in motion when Kasper himself was diagnosed.
All money raised will go towards promoting children’s personalised cancer treatment based on the individuals themselves, rather than a more generalised approach.
“Our question is does it have to be like this? Although the NHS and Kasper’s doctors are amazing, his treatment is quite standard and we want to change that by pushing the research, breakthroughs, funding and advances forward so that young patients and their cancers can be analysed individually, and then treated accordingly,” Oonah adds.
“The knowledge is there but these children are not necessarily getting the treatment that could be made available,” she adds.
Alongside the charity album, Year 11 pupils at Magdalen College School have raised thousands of pounds for the Childhood Cancer Research Trust via a sponsored bike ride and charity football match, in aid of their friend and classmate.
“The response has already been amazing but the more people we can get involved the better,” Kasper’s father James adds.
And as he plays me the new album and the two boys voices soar high above us, the poignancy of the occasion, and the ability of music to move us and take us somewhere else, seems terribly fitting.
LOVE IS. will launch on 17 July 2021 and is available to purchase from http://www.ordinarychild.co/shop for £15 as well as Amazon. All proceeds will go to the Childhood Cancer Research Trust.