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15/12/2016
Sumner Malik, the 10-year-old diagnosed with DIPG

Squash Player News

Squash community backing brave Sumner

The father of Sumner Malik, the 10-year-old diagnosed with inoperable brain cancer, has paid tribute to the “unbelievable and overwhelming support” from the squash community for his son’s fight to survive, writes Mike Dale.

Sussex county junior player Sumner has DIPG (Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma), of which only 40 cases are diagnosed each year. There is no confirmed cure, the survival rate is non-existent and children live for an average of just nine months after diagnosis.

Sumner’s parents, Camron and Suzan, first noticed something was wrong when Sumner began losing his balance and missing the ball on court. He also had difficulty swallowing and talking.

Those initial signals led to his devastating diagnosis. Sumner’s remaining hope is to raise £80,000 for cutting-edge trial treatments that are not covered by the NHS.

Shocked fellow parents on the junior squash circuit started the #SunshineforSummer campaign, which has spread rapidly on social media and has already seen the total money raised pass the halfway mark.

“The response and support we’ve had from people within squash shows just why we all love this sport so much. These are people whose kids compete against mine most weekends and they’re so special. It’s a lovely community, like a family,” Camron told Squash Player.

Sumner is one of triplets and also has two older brothers and a sister. All play at the K2 Leisure Centre in Crawley and have represented Sussex, with two (Curtis and Torrie) playing for England.

#SunshineforSumner received global attention thanks to the PSA, who invited Sumner, his parents and five siblings to Cairo as VIP guests at the men’s World Championship.

SquashTV viewers heard Sumner co-commentate on the quarter-finals alongside Paul Johnson and Joey Barrington with great eloquence and good humour. “He had them all cracking up behind the scenes too,” reveals Camron.

“My wife and I had our honeymoon in Egypt, so it was very special and poignant to return in such circumstances. For a squash-mad family it was just such an amazing trip, beyond a dream really. We take our hats off to the PSA for thinking up the idea and planning it so perfectly.”

 
SquashTV viewers heard Sumner co-commentate on the quarter-finals alongside
Paul Johnson and Joey Barrington at the men’s World Championship

 

 

 

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