7-year-old Harry Boote from Gloucestershire has begun a 65-mile cycling challenge in August and September to raise funds for national blood cancer charity Cure Leukaemia in memory of his Gramps who passed away from acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) on May 19th this year.
Harry, a pupil at Staunton & Corse C of E Academy in Gloucestershire, will look to complete 65 miles as his Gramps, Mike Chivers, would have celebrated his 66th birthday on Sunday August 23rd.
Sadly, Mike was diagnosed with AML on April 27th and despite treatment at Hereford County Hospital and the Worcestershire Royal Hospital he passed away just three weeks later.
All funds raised by Harry, who is a relative of Cure Leukaemia Patron Doug McKinnon (a veteran of four Grand Tour cycling events for the charity) will go towards funding a specialist research nurse position in the Haematology department at Worcestershire Royal Hospital.
This nurses role, which is currently being recruited for, will enable pioneering clinical trials for blood cancer to run connecting patients with potentially life-saving treatments not available through standard care.
Harry’s mum, Katie, plans to run or cycle alongside her son, who has already completed the first 8 miles of his challenge, and she is very proud of him for taking it on:
“We are really proud of Harry for wanting to raise funds in memory of his Gramps. The loss of a close family member can be really hard at his age and he has been distant and guarded at home since dad passed away. But when he’s been out on the bike he has really opened up about his feelings and I think this will be a really positive thing for him to do.”
Katie, who is a Healthcare Assistant at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital, continued:
“We lost my dad so fast it has been really hard for us all as a family, but Harry’s challenge will be a great tribute to dad and a great focus for him."
“We are very pleased to raise funds for Cure Leukaemia as we know all about the amazing work they do having spoken to my husband’s uncle, Doug.
It is great to know that every penny we raise will go towards funding a nurse at the hospital where dad was treated. He was only there for a short time and it will be nice to think that Harry’s efforts can help patients in the same position dad was in.”
Harry has already raised close to £1,500 and has received a video message of support from television presenter, author and columnist Dr Ranj Singh which can be seen below:
Harry’s Headteacher at Staunton & Corse Academy, Jon Tibbles said:
“Harry is a wonderful boy and I am so proud of his desire to raise funds in the memory of his grandfather Mike Chivers. Of course, everyone at Staunton and Corse Academy wish him well for his epic bike ride and look forward to seeing him when children return to school to find out about his adventure.”
Cure Leukaemia will be encouraging supporters who live locally to Harry to join him for parts of his challenge which is expected to take a number of days to complete. CEO James McLaughlin said:
“This is a great challenge Harry is taking on and we are so grateful to him for his efforts to raise vital funds for Cure Leukaemia during such a challenging time.
“We have had tremendous support from the haematology team at Worcestershire Royal in recent years and we are delighted to be providing funding for a research nurse once again. I am sure the whole Cure Leukaemia family will get behind Harry and help him raise as many funds as possible to help others.
To make a donation to Harry’s fundraising CLICK HERE.
How funds raised for Cure Leukaemia help save lives