A ceremony to celebrate the life of little Oscar Knox, who died after a long battle against an aggressive form of cancer, took place on Sunday, followed by strictly private cremation.
A Mass of Angels was held at St Bernard's Church in Glengormley this morning - with people encouraged to join a procession from the hospice which to St Bernard's Church.
Since Oscar’s parents announced on Friday that their darling boy had “gained his angel wings” the previous day, thousands more have been donated to the Children’s Hospice.
Donations in lieu of flowers to the hospice, where he spent his final days, have raised more than £22,000 since his death with groups which are part of Wee Oscar’s Neuroblastoma Children's Cancer Alliance team having reached £599,000 by last night.
The money has been donated to the Alliance, which paid tribute to the five-year-old.
Charity's Chief Executive Bettina Bungay-Balwah said yesterday: “It is with heavy hearts we accept that Oscar's battle with neuroblastoma has come to an end. As with all the children we support, he put up an amazing fight.
“The continued generosity of the tens of thousands of people who followed Oscar's story says so much about the way in which he and his family faced this disease.
“Fundraising is so key for neuroblastoma as, like other childhood cancers, it is not as well understood or as well treated as more common adult cancers.
“The money really does make a difference and NCCA UK is funding the important research that will mean fewer children need lose their lives.
“Thank you to anyone and everyone who is giving to Oscar's appeal, you are helping to ensure that his lasting legacy is a better outlook for other children with neuroblastoma.”
Oscar spent his last days on this earth at the Northern Ireland Hospice, not far from his Glengormley home.
They too will benefit from his legacy, after his family asked for donations to them in lieu of flowers at his funeral.
A spokesperson for the Northern Ireland Children’s Hospice, which has received donations of more than £22,000 since his death, said: “We rely on the support of voluntary donations and legacies to run the children's hospice and each year we need to raise £3million.
“These funds help us to care for children and their families in the hospice and in their own homes by providing end of life care and short respite breaks. Every £30 raised pays for another vital hour of nursing care for a life limited child.”
Wee Oscar loved to wear a Superman costume and pretend he was a hero — blissfully unaware that he actually was.
His courage was celebrated when he was named the Sunday Life Spirit of Northern Ireland winner last year.