By Emma Pearson @emma_pear

A TEENAGER who launched a charity to help sick children despite battling cancer himself has been given the backing of presenter and DJ Fearne Cotton

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Tyler snuggles up with his best friend Charlie

Tyler Murphy, 18, came up with the idea of putting together gift boxes for poorly children from his own hospital bed whilst recovering from brain tumour surgery.

After being diagnosed in 2010 when he was just 12-years-old, Tyler, from Barnham, West Sussex, went on to have 14 operations.

Tyler was diagnosed with a brain tumour when he was just 12-years-old

But despite being temporarily wheelchair-bound and partially losing his sight, Tyler’s main concern was the happiness of other children in hospital.

In the last year alone, Tyler’s Trust raised over £27,000 and handed out boxes to children all over the South East of England.

In the last year alone the charity raised £27,000 in fundraising events

And after he was shortlisted for Radio 1’s Teen Hero award, the teenager and Fearne developed a friendship.

Tyler’s mum, Janice Ellis, 47, said: “Fearne really loved what he did so she found out what sort of things Tyler liked and sent him a box of goodies for himself.

Fearne Cotton has announced she will be the patron of Tyler's Trust

“There was all sorts from supernatural DVDs to a Game of Thrones mug.

“We got invited back to Radio 1 and got to meet her. She was lovely and really down to earth.

Tyler is now 18 and studies Media at college

“Her and Tyler were chatting about Star Wars and Lightsabers of all things.

“And then the next time we went back in the Easter holidays he took her a little teddy bear for her baby when it’s born.”

Mum Janice couldn't be prouder of the way Tyler has handled being ill

Janice later contacted Fearne and asked her to be a patron for the charity, and Tyler was delighted when the former Radio 1 DJ offered her support.

Fearne said: "Tyler is an amazing person and I was so impressed by his work I jumped at the chance to be patron of this incredible charity.”

Tyler's Trust is run by a team of volunteers

As well as putting together gift boxes, the charity has also put together packs to be given to families in A&E when their children are unexpectedly admitted for surgery.

Janice, a civil servant, said: “When Tyler was first diagnosed we went for what we thought was a relatively routine operation and then the whole world was turned upside down.

Tyler does his best to live his life to the full
Tyler visits hospitals all around the South East with his gift boxes

“We were put in an ambulance and sent to Southampton Hospital with nothing.

“We really want people to be able to brush their teeth and have a wash to help the parents through the first couple of days.”

Mum Janice is at the forefront of the charity

Now Tyler, who has a twin brother called Ben, is studying Media at Chichester College of Technology.

And after a traumatic five years, Janice says the charity has given the family something to focus on.

Tyler is happy to get involved with all aspects of fundraising

She said: “I just take it a day at a time. We’ve had some really dark nights but Tyler’s Trust has done so much for us.

“It helps somehow to think something positive has come out of it.

Selfless Tyler can't do enough for other people

“Tyler can’t get out and do what other 18-year-olds do but when he’s having a good day he lives life to the full and he can’t do enough for other people - he loves giving the gift boxes.

“I’d like to see him finish education, maybe one day if he wants to he can go to university but as long as he’s happy that’s more than enough for us.

Tyler has already had 14 operations
Tyler likes to have fun like any other teenager

“We’ve just got used to living in the day and trying not to look too far ahead.

Tyler's family and friends are all involved in the charity

“I’m so proud of Tyler and what he’s achieved and I hope with Fearne on board we can carry on the good work.”

The boxes include toys, MP3 players and bandanas

To find out more about the fantastic charity, or to nominate a child for a gift box, go to