BRAIN tumour patient Brandon Ballance became Secret Santa to deliver surprise presents to his hospital friends.
The nine-year-old spread some festive joy at Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary to children who face Christmas away from home.
Hospital trolleys became sleighs, while nurses acted as reindeers to haul the mountain of gifts.
Brandon visited Ward 4 where he is still being treated as an outpatient alongside other youngsters with cancer. And the staff didn’t miss out, as the schoolboy dropped off parcels of chocolates and sherry to the nurses and doctors who are helping to save his life.
Brandon said: “I’ve spent Christmas in hospital and it’s not as nice as being home so I wanted to cheer everyone up.
“Everyone on the ward is so nice and I wanted to show how much I thank them for everything they’ve done for me.”
Brandon was diagnosed with a tumour on his brain-stem when he was just two and has endured rigorous chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatment.
He faces another scan next month to assess how his latest treatment has gone.
First on the little Father Christmas’s list was two-year-old leukaemia patient Katie Bain, who was thrilled with her sweet selection pack.
Her dad Paul, 39, from North Shields, said: “Brandon is doing a wonderful thing. He’s such a lovely little boy and he’s put a smile on all our faces.”
Baby William Morris, six months, from Chester-le-Street, who has leukaemia, loved his big blue bear, while three-year-old brain tumour patient Katie Slyderink, from Whickham, Gateshead, clutched a fluffy dog.
Brandon’s mother Sarah Nicholson, from Amble, Northumberland, said her son was determined to brighten up his pals’ morning.
She said: “Brandon said to me ‘mum, am I going to be in hospital at Christmas again?’ and I said no, but there will be lots of children who are.
“He said straight away that he wanted to do something special for them and cheer them up. The presents were all his idea.
“I’d like to thank all my friends and family for donating the presents. It was important to us that we didn’t forget the staff, who sometimes get left out. They do an amazing job.”
Sandra Barlow, senior sister on Ward 4, thanked Brandon for making the children’s day. “We are going to have many children here over Christmas and visits like this really do make a huge difference,” she said.
Sarah and Brandon now hope to deliver presents to Ward 4 regularly and plan to register a charity called Brandon’s Little Helpers in the New Year.
They hope businesses and communities will join the effort by donating gifts or raising funds to buy them.
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