AMPUTEE George Soars, who lost a leg to cancer, has organised a ball to help a teenage charity set up in his name.

Mr Soars, 20, was just six when he had to have his leg amputated above the knee. He spent 13 months in hospital after being diagnosed with bone marrow cancer. “I had to take a year out of school,” he said. “I did make new friends in hospital, some stayed for a while, but some passed away.”

The former Abbeyfield pupil moved to Chippenham when he was seven and grew up in Oaklands. He said he found it difficult to go through secondary school.

“You always got the odd people who’d make taunting comments, but you also got the supportive people,” he said. “I think it’s probably easier to deal with at six than 16. You’ve got so much more happening as a teenager.

“If you don’t have a known cause it can make it difficult to understand. There are different ways of dealing with it and my way is to help other people.”

Mr Soars answers emergency calls for the ambulance service and is also district youth officer for St John Ambulance.

It was as a St John cadet at a national youth event he met then 15-year-old Hannah Larkin. He was later shocked to discover through Facebook he had inspired her to start up a charity, Butterfly Giving.

Miss Larkin, 18, of Middlesborough, said: “I founded the charity after meeting George and being inspired by his positive attitude. He is an incredible young man who was forced to make a choice no young person should ever have to make – life or limb.”

Butterfly Giving is raising funds for a holiday retreat for young people with cancer.

The Masquerade Ball is at Alexandra House, Wroughton, on March 8. Tickets cost £35 and include an arrival drink, meal, auction and entertainment.

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