Thomas Harrington (19) of Little Compton died on May 8, 2023 after a nearly 10 year long battle with Ewing Sarcoma, a type of bone cancer. Thomas fought hard undergoing years of conventional and alternative treatments. He bravely faced countless rounds of chemotherapy, radiation, and major surgeries knowing it was all modern medicine could offer to prolong his life. Whenever he had the chance, though, he lived life to its absolute fullest. He had many talents including lighting up the stage in musical theater productions and as a writer/performer of stand-up comedy. At Portsmouth High School, he was a proud member of the Drumline in the Portsmouth High School Marching Band. A passionate percussionist, he loved sitting in on drumset in many different bands. He recently traveled to the Gambia, West Africa where he took Djembe lessons and left behind some of the clothes he came with to fit a Djembe in his suitcase to bring home. As the pain and fatigue from his cancer affected his activity level more and more, he found ways to make music electronically, creating original beats even while at home in bed.
Thomas was full of compassion for others. On four occasions, he slept outside in a cardboard box in February for an awareness/fundraising event for people experiencing homelessness. He became an advocate for other kids facing cancer by participating in events for the Izzy Foundation where he served as a member of their Jr. Advisory Board. He wrote a poem about his experience with childhood cancer and recited it in front of the Rhode Island State House for Pediatric Cancer Awareness Month. After graduating from high school, he attended Salve Regina University as a Social Work major. His cancer recurred after only one semester at Salve, so he had to withdraw. However, after completing more treatment and taking some time in between to travel and see the world, he enrolled at Rhode Island College. He was taking music production and art and music therapy with the aspiration of becoming a Child Life Specialist or Music Therapist for children in a hospital setting. Thomas was helped and inspired by so many compassionate people and organizations, and he always had the desire to give back. He spent several summers as a camper at The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp, which serves youth with life threatening illnesses. He had hopes of being a counselor there this summer.
Thomas loved animals and had a way with children. He combined the two by working as a camp counselor and stable hand at Adamsville Stables for several years. He also worked in the nursery at The United Congregational Church of Little Compton where he was a member and previously a Youth Deacon. He sang in the UCCLC’s Youth Choir and accompanied the Youth Band on drums.Thomas could make you laugh even in the toughest of circumstances. He had a fun, adventurous, and slightly mischievous side to him. His close friends could tell you stories for days about their many adventures.
Thomas was the son of Elisabeth Allen Harrington, a Westport School Counselor, and Linton Harrington who predeceased him. He was the loving older brother of Eli Harrington. Thomas is survived by his adoring grandparents, many aunts and uncles, and several cousins, all of whom will miss him beyond measure. A Memorial Service will be held on May 27th at 11:00 a.m. at the United Congregational Church of Little Compton. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Thomas’ name to the Tomorrow Fund for Children with Cancer, an organization that supported Thomas and his family for nearly 10 years. Donate Here
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