Balloons for Thetford’s Aiden Vergori

Scores of messages dedicated to a popular little boy who died of a brain tumour have been released in his memory.

Friends of Aiden Vergori gathered in a park next to his former school in Thetford where they attached words to helium balloons which were then released to mark his death.

Eight-year-old Aiden was diagnosed with diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG) a year ago and died in his family’s hometown of Spanaway, in Washington, America, on June 27. The youngster was a popular pupil at Drake Infant School, on Fairfields, Thetford, and around 30 children attended Sunday’s event.

One of the organisers, Julia Lowe, 36, from Thistle Close, Thetford, whose eight-year-old son, Dylan Coddington, was friends with Aiden, said the day was “emotional”.

“It went really well, apart from the rain, and we had a good turnout,” she said.

“It was a chance for everybody to be together again and to remember Aiden and give the children their own chance to say something.

“Aiden was loved and they’re a lovely family and we were all really sad they went back to America, as well as everything they were going through.”

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Aiden first became ill with headaches and weakness in his left side in July last year and was quickly diagnosed with DIPG. He underwent six weeks of daily radiotherapy at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge, during which time he had difficulties with his eyesight and hearing, lost the use of his left arm and was unable to walk. Initially, however, the tumour reduced in size.

Shortly after Aiden’s treatment, in November last year, he and his family, parents Reese and Tim Vergori, and siblings Christian, Tia and Noah, moved for work reasons to Spanaway from their Mallow Road home in Thetford.

Sunday’s event, also organised by Kelly Valentine and Sarah Kirk, raised �142.65 for the DIPG foundation.