Luke O’Mara tells us why he’s walking to Edinburgh.
Together with a few others I will be walking from Birmingham to Edinburgh, a total of 280 miles, attempting to raise as much cash for our chosen charity, Birmingham Childrens Hospital as possible.
My story began when my son Leo started a local playgroup in Stockland Green. While there he made friends with a little lad called Frankie. At the time Frankie seemed a normal, healthy boy, always with a smile on his face and playing like the rest. It wasn’t until I got talking to his mother that I found he had been battling Wilms, a form of cancer which is common in toddlers and attacks the kidneys. This was just before his third birthday, and despite chemotherapy and all the other hospital visits, he carried on and fought through it, always with a smile on his face.
A year on and he is now cancer free, still having his six week checks but he is that same smiling boy I met back then. He has become my inspiration…if a little boy can carry on with such a life-changing issue hanging over him then surely I can strive to do something challenging and difficult to make more children happier.
He got me thinking of what I could do to help, what selfless little act I could do to try and see more little boys or girls like Frankie with smiling faces, whatever challenge they may be facing. So here I am, on the 11th September 2015 I will begin a walk from Birmingham to Edinburgh, a total of 280 miles (a mile for every child that dies each year) with the aim of raising as much money and awareness for child cancer as possible and to highlight all the wonderful things Birmingham Childrens Hospital do, not only for their cancer patients but for every child that has ever walked through their doors.
In the UK cancer is the leading cause of death in children aged 1-14 years. 3,600 children and young people are diagnosed with cancer every year in the UK. That’s ten every day.Around 280 children die from cancer each year in the UK. 82% of children in Great Britain survive childhood cancer, and we can do more to raise this survival rate.