THE death of her 17-year-old son, Chad, eleven years ago, has left a permanent hole in Michelle Mulholland’s heart.

But she has always had the support of his school, Altrincham Boys Grammar School They supported Chad throughout his illness enabling him to gain ten A*s in his GCSEs and become one of the top five exam entrants in the country.

His school friends visited him in hospital and, at his funeral, surrounded St Vincent’s church discarding their ties “for Chad.”

One friend still visits his grave.

Before he died Chad began fundraising himself which led to the foundation of Chad’s Challenges by Sixth Form Officer, Gill Williamson. She, Michelle, and the boys, have already raised £108,000 for charities, mostly cancer related.

They are holding a ladies treats evening on 19 November, described by Gill as the original and best ladies evening and are appealing for raffle prizes.

“If a young man from the school calls and asks for donations, please give generously,” said Gill who tells sixth formers about Chad and his charity.

Michelle said: “Chad was quiet and thoughtful with a great sense of humour. He loved his sisters, Pia and Tilly and adored my father who looked after him a lot when he was young.

On 31 January 2005 soon after he had attended the funeral of his other grandfather, Chad discovered a golf ball sized lump on his neck.

Michelle said: “He self-diagnosed cancer and I told him it wasn’t”

Sadly, Chad was right He underwent chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant but always kept on going to school.

“He never complained or made an issue of his illness,”

Gill agreed. “I remember seeing him as a young student walking down the corridor wearing a woolly hat.

“Later I worked with Michelle and the care team, instructed by Macmillan Nurses and Christie.”

No wonder they have received a Diana award for teamwork, a silver lion award from Altrincham Court Leet and a British Citizens’ award for volunteering and fundraising.

The younger boys have now started their own Chad’s Challenges.

* Tickets for the Ladies Treats Evening, price £5 can be purchased from Altrincham Boys Grammar School.