"His pain and suffering is over," read a tweet from Harry Shaw's family on their Twitter account

By Jen Juneau
June 04, 2019 10:02 AM
Harry Shaw
BBC; DIEGO AZUBEL/REX

Harry Shaw — the 5-year-old boy who inspired Lewis Hamilton before the Formula One racer won the Spanish Grand Prix in May — has died after a battle with cancer.

“It is with the greatest of sadness and most broken of hearts we have to inform you Harry slipped away on Saturday evening,” his family wrote Monday on Twitter alongside a pair of photos of the little boy. “He fought to the very end and we were both with him for his final moments. His pain and suffering is over.”

“It is impossible to imagine life without Harry and the hole he will leave in our lives. We are SO proud of Harry and everything he achieved in his life and the legacy he has created to help others. 🏆,” a second tweet read.

“We would ask for no flowers and if you should wish to contribute please continue supporting Harry’s Giant Pledge. We miss him so much. Love James, Charlotte and Georgia x #letsjustgetitdone💖,” they added, concluding with a line often attributed to A.A. Milne: “How lucky I am to have something which makes saying goodbye so hard.”

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Shaw — who battled Ewing’s sarcoma, an extremely rare bone cancer — made headlines last month after sending Hamilton, 34, a good-luck message ahead of his race.

“Hello Lewis Hamilton. Good luck winning the race in Spain and thank you for the gifts. Lots of love from Harry and goodbye,” the little boy said in the sweet video.

That message resonated with the Formula One driver, who at first had his team send Harry some signed photos and a Mercedes hat. “It just went from there, really,” Harry’s mom Charlotte told the BBC. “It’s brought smiles into his life at a time when there’s a limited amount of fun to be had, to be perfectly honest.”

“It’s just got bigger and bigger and better and better and the smiles have got broader and broader,” she added of Hamilton’s gifts for Harry. “It’s so special to see Harry enjoying himself.”

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Harry was then surprised with a real Formula One Mercedes race car upon returning to his home for his final days. Charlotte and her husband James were told Harry had just one week left to live back in April, according to the BBC.

The five-time Formula One World Champion, who races for Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport, described Harry as his “spirit angel,” dedicating his victory to the little boy while arranging for Mercedes to fly out one of its race cars to Harry’s home in Redhill, Surrey, England.

Hamilton also posted a heartfelt message to Harry after seeing the boy’s good luck note on Instagram, writing, “Harry, you don’t know how much this message means to me buddy. Thank you so much, you are my inspiration today Harry. I will try to make you proud.”

“You are such a strong boy, I wish I was as strong as you, I wanted the world to see how strong you are and ask everyone to send their best wishes and prayers to you during this hard time,” added the British driver. “Sending you love Harry. God bless you. Your friend, Lewis #keepfighting #nevergiveup #wewinandwelosetogether.”

 

Lewis Hamilton
Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty

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Harry’s family started the Harry’s Giant Pledge fundraiser page — which has raised 94 percent of its £250,000 goal as of Tuesday morning — in an effort to leverage Harry’s story “to inspire fundraising for The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity because only research can stop this awful disease.”

“On 1 June 2019, five-year-old Harry Shaw took his last breath after a tough 10 month battle against Ewing’s Sarcoma; a rare bone cancer,” the page’s description begins, sharing that Harry was first diagnosed after a routine scan this past August found “a tumor the size of a large baked potato” in the little boy’s chest.

“We would like to say Harry died in peace and comfort; to an extent he did, dying at home in his own bed surrounded by his toys and the people he loved. But the actual truth is the last few weeks of Harry’s life were marked by terrible pain and suffering that no human, not least a 5 year-old boy, should endure,” they continued. “As parents, to sit and have to watch your child die slowly in pain and discomfort is a memory we hope time will heal.”

“We can’t let Harry die without doing something to try and ensure other little Harry’s don’t go through the same thing. One of Harry’s favorite expressions during chemotherapy was: ‘Let’s just get it done,’ ” the note concluded. “In honor of Harry ‘let’s just get it done’ spirit let’s raise some money to beat this awful disease and give future children and their families hope.”

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