In the biblical story, the young David fells the giant Goliath with a single stone from his slingshot. Elkanah House pupil Rheed Castle-Pearce is using music to battle his own personal Goliath – cancer.
Rheed’s fight has not only seen the school and its former pupils rally behind him, but also some well-known names such as Brian Habana, Tendai “Beast” Mtawarira and Jimmy Nevis.
Earlier this year, the sports-mad 13-year-old fell at school and was struggling with a hip injury which lead to the discovery of a cancerous tumour on his hip.
“As a family we were devastated and terrified. We were gutted,” said Rheed’s mother, Tanya Castle-Pearce.
“When you hear ‘cancer’, you usually associate it with older people.
“He had an operation to remove the tumour from his hip, but it affected his bone which needed to be cut, so he had a hip replacement too.
“He started a 21-day chemo cycle which makes you very sick. He has been in bed for the last six months and hasn’t been to school because he’s been in and out of hospital. But he is very positive and motivated and believes God has got him. He says God has told him he will be okay.”
Together with ex-Elkanah house pupil, Claire Brainsgrove, Rheed has created a music video to share his battle with cancer with others.
“I use to be at Elkanah High school and I saw the war cry the high school pupils had for him. There is huge support for him at the school and a lot of pupils who left Elkanah are also supporting him,” said Ms Brainsgrove.
“I work in the music industry and have contacts in the industry, so I thought I could use it for something good, and I asked them if we could do a music video for him. It all happened in one week,” she said.
The video, Rheed vs the Giant, shows a depiction of a battle in a futuristic setting, where captives fight to free themselves from behind bars.
Their fight performed through dance is done to the track The Greatest by artist Sia and echoes the words, “Don’t give up, I won’t give up”, referring to Rheed’s courage.
Elkanah House staff member Michelle Johnson said Rheed is warm, friendly and extremely positive. He has also made loyal friends in the short time he has been at the school, and many of them appear in the video.
“Rheed has shown incredible faith, and even through his difficult journey he is being an example to his peers. He takes every opportunity to come to school events when he is feeling well enough and simply through his beautiful spirit he has united the student body and taught them how to be strong, determined and to have dignity,” said Ms Johnson.
If anyone would like to view the video or find out more about Rheed and his battle against his Goliath, you can use the following link to access his Facebook page