‘He would have loved it’: Icy North Sea dip celebrates memory of teen killed by brain tumour

The family of a teen who lost his life to a brain tumor said he “would have laughed at himself” when they honored him with a North Sea dip on New Year’s Day.

Connor Todd of Cambois, Northumberland, died last October after being diagnosed with a brain tumor in March 2020 at the age of 13.

The 15-year-old’s family decided they couldn’t handle Christmas this year and chose to go away to Fuertaventura for a week instead.

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But they returned to take part in a daring swim in the North Sea on New Year’s Day to pay tribute to Connor’s bravery and to continue his fundraising legacy.

Connor managed to raise nearly £18,000 for cancer charities in the last year of his life as he battled to recover from grueling treatment.

The family have continued their work since the funeral, with more than £10,000 that will help pay for three planned memorial benches – near Charlton’s bar in Cambois, at Blyth Rugby Club where Connor played, and his former school Bede Academy.

The remaining funds will be split between five childhood cancer charities that have helped during Connor’s treatment: Jessica’s Sarcoma Awareness, Jack’s Journey, Molly Olly’s Wishes, Luke’s Life Legacy and Danicas Dream Fund.

Connor Todd (14) from Cambois (Image: Newcastle Chronicle)

Connor’s mother Clair and her daughters completed the icy plunge into Cambois dressed as Mario, in honor of Connor’s love for Super Mario.

Clair said: “It was absolutely brilliant – I can’t believe how many people came. There have been at least a few hundred – it’s a very, very good turnout.

“I think everyone has been blown away by how many people have actually shown up, but Connor touched so many people with his story.

“It’s the small charities that help kids right when they really need it, so it was great to do something for them.”

Clair Todd and her family and members of the community of Cambois, Northumberland, take a dip in the North Sea on New Year’s Day in memory of Clair’s son Connor Todd who died of a brain tumor in 2021 at just 15 years old. (Image: Craig Connor/ChronicleLive)

Of what Connor is said to have said while watching the event, Clair said: “He would have laughed his head, he would have loved it. He would have been the first in that sea.”

The heartbroken family celebrates their first Christmas without Connor – just 10 weeks after his death.

Clair said: “I decided I couldn’t handle Christmas this year, so we went on vacation for a week.

“There was a volcano there, so we climbed up there and made a memorial to Connor and lit a candle.

“Connor died on a Monday at 5:41 PM, so every Monday at that time we try to light a candle wherever we are.

“I didn’t expect a happy new year, but today was a good day.”

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