Lancashire Cricket Age-Group wicket keeper batsman, Thomas Jackson, has been awarded the AO Recovery of the Year award after being diagnosed with a brain tumour following a club cricket match last summer.
After being taken to hospital for scans, Thomas, aged 15, was subsequently diagnosed with a Medulloblastoma, a cancerous brain tumour which affects muscle coordination, balance, and movement.
Following his diagnosis, Thomas underwent an intense trial period of proton beam therapy, each day for 30 days, before beginning chemotherapy in January – which lasted until October of this year.
Thomas has received support from the world of cricket during his battle, teammates from club and county level, as well as video messages from famous faces including Lancashire’s James Anderson, Jos Buttler and England Test captain, Joe Root.
Thomas and his family were then invited as special guests to Lancashire Cricket’s End of Season Awards in October – where Thomas received a standing ovation, which lasted for several minutes, as he received his AO Recovery of the Year Award on stage from Red Rose captain, Dane Vilas.
Lancashire Captain, Dane Vilas, said: “The courage Thomas has shown over the past 12 months is staggering and it’s great to see that he is getting back on the mend.
“The squad have been keeping in touch with Thomas and his family this summer and we hope that the next phase of treatment is a success for him. Everyone at Lancashire is so incredibly proud of Thomas and we can’t wait to see the day where he gets back on the cricket field.”
David Roberts, Director of Medical Services, who has been working closely with Thomas and his family, said: “Thomas has been nothing short of an inspiration. Nobody knows how or why these sorts of things develop in the way in which they do.
“But, from the amount of courage and single-minded determination which Thomas has shown since his diagnosis, together with his family, you would not bet against him making a far more complete recovery than he already has done so far.”
Thomas’ father, Neil Jackson, also commented: “Thomas is a tough young character and the last 12 months has really proved that us – he has been amazing. We are all proud of our children, but when you see your child fighting such a difficult period in his own life it makes you so proud.
“We have got a saying our family that ‘you just keep peddling’ and if Thomas keeps peddling and working hard, then hopefully this time next year we will be in a much better place – he is my hero.”
John Roberts, Founder and Chief Executive of AO, which sponsors Lancashire Cricket’s, Science and Medical Team, as well as its age-group teams, added: “Thomas is an incredible and inspirational young man. Everyone at AO is thrilled to see his recovery so far and we’re right behind him. I’ve always said that talent is evenly distributed, but opportunity is not which is perfectly illustrated by the care and support he has had from the Club – it’s precisely why AO proudly supports them.”