The brave boy who fell over while holding the Olympic torch, before proudly getting back up to continue with a beaming smile on his face, has died from cancer.
Kieran Maxwell was diagnosed with a rare form of bone cancer in 2011, when he was just 12, and five months later he had part of his left leg amputated.
In 2012, as part of the London Olympic Celebrations, Kieran was famously filmed stumbling and falling to the ground while participating in the torch relay in Bishop Auckland, County Durham.
Kieran was 13 years old at the time when he dropped the Olympic flame, but won hearts across the country for his courageous display – he got back up to carry on with his job after being helped back to his feet by security officials.
In the devastating news on Friday, Kieran’s mother confirmed that Kieran had passed away, six years after his Ewing’s Sarcoma diagnosis at the age of 18.
On the ‘Kieran Maxwell Legacy’ Facebook page, in a heart-breaking post, Kieran’s mother said ‘unfortunately today Kieran at 5.26am gained his wings’.
The post continued:
He passed peaceful in his sleep.
We are going to be continuing Kieran’s wish of providing research into Ewing’s Sarcoma through his charity.
I want to thank you all for the support you gave my boy while he was alive.
Kieran reportedly fell during the torch relay due to the ‘heavy artificial limb’, reports the Mirror, and it later emerged that Britain’s biggest lottery winners – Colin and Chris Weir – had stepped in to buy him a new lighter prosthetic leg.
Colin and Chris Weir gave the five-figure donation so Kieran could buy the limb outright
At the time, Kieran’s mom Nicola said:
Kieran started yelling and dancing around when he heard – he couldn’t believe it.
Devastating news followed in 2013 when Kieran and his family discovered that the disease had returned.
Despite undergoing grueling cycles of chemotherapy, a stem cell transplant and even having part of his lung removed, last October they were told the cancer was terminal.
Kieran was told by doctors that he only had weeks to live, but the teenager went on to make some amazing memories with his loved ones for a further eight months.
We're so sorry to hear that Kieran Maxwell from Darlington has died. Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this very sad time. pic.twitter.com/dLQ13M0hqZ
— Durham Constabulary (@DurhamPolice) June 23, 2017
Kieran had decided to not continue with treatment – he said he didn’t want to spend the rest of his life ill and in hospital.
He also wanted to focus on ‘raising awareness of Ewing’s Sarcoma and improving the time it takes to diagnosis a child with cancer’.
Before Kieran passed away, he set up the ‘Kieran Maxwell Legacy’ charity in a bid to fund research into the rare bone cancer.
Absolutely awful news to hear that Kieran Maxwell has passed away. The most selfless and determined person ever, rest in peace lovely xxx
— K L YOUNG (@katielucieyoung) June 24, 2017
A sports enthusiast with a BA (Hons) in Sports Journalism, who can be found predominantly at Villa Park. Having completed a Masters in Broadcast Journalism, she then went on to work at Sky Sports, the BBC, and the Mirror. When not engrossed in sport, it’s animals, guitars, and Liam Gallagher which take main focus.