One year ago, Ollie Gardner, a 13 year-old-boy from Aston Clinton, passed away after losing a two-year battle with cancer. Diagnosed with brain tumors, he and his family received tremendous support from their community who helped raise the necessary funds for his family to afford one final treatment. Despite the side effects of the treatment and his condition, Ollie was described as being happy to be at school and hang with his friends, with photos showing his appreciation and love for Star Wars and Marvel characters, especially Iron Man.
Thousands turned out to pay their respect to the young man and a permanent memorial bench at St. Michael and All Angels Church was unveiled earlier this year at his graveside, observing the cricket pitches where he often loved to play.
His parents, Peter and Jane, posted an update on Ollie’s Facebook page, retelling how the Church had some initial reservations about the Iron Man addition to his gravestone, and eventually agreed on the condition that Marvel Studios gave its permission to use Iron Man's likeness. Although they figured it was a long shot, they reached out to Marvel with their request. A mere two weeks later to their delight, “I received an email and not only did they give permission, but also offered their help in mediating with the Church of England,” the Facebook update said.
Ollie's family thanked Marvel for their “lovely gesture” and are grateful that Ollie’s hero will fight alongside him in eternity.
(via Mix 96)