When Hughie was diagnosed with Leukaemia in September 2020, Freddie wanted to help.
Hughie started treatment at the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital. When some of Hughie’s school friends decided to do the hospital’s ‘Humphreys Walk’ to raise money, Freddie decided to do something himself to help Hughie through his treatment. He set himself a challenge – realising it was just over 50 days until Christmas, he decided to do a junior park run (2k) every day, finishing on Christmas Day to run a total of 100KM. His goal was to raise £1000.
Not long after Freddie started running, some of the Burnley FC players (both boys are lifelong fans) picked up on the story and wanted to help. They arranged for Freddie to complete one of his 2km runs around the pitch at Turf Moor with Jimmy Dunne, Jay Rodriguez and Ashley Barnes. Hughie wanted to go and support but had a long day of chemo that day so watched them on a live link from the hospital. Freddie also ran around the Wham stadium with the Accrington Stanley players.
The local press covered this and Freddies’ campaign soon gathered momentum. Freddie completed his 2km every day regardless of the weather or what time it was, often running after football training or school. Hughie went to support Freddie whenever he was well enough. The boys spurred each other on over the next few weeks, appearing together on TV and radio to talk about the fundraising.
Christmas Day – The final run!
Freddies’ final 2k was Christmas Day morning and was being covered live by BBC Breakfast and Sky Sports News. The boys had to get up early and be in Whalley centre for 7:30 am. It was -5 degrees and dark and Hughie had had chemo on Christmas eve but they were raring to go.
Freddie completed his challenge and Hughie managed the last few meters with him live on TV. When we checked the fundraising total Christmas morning, it had reached an unbeleiveable £120k. Since then Hughie and Freddie have continued to appear together for interviews and to raise awareness of leukaemia and their fundraising. Together with some fundraising of Hughie’s family and friends, the total is now over £230k. £200k of that has been raised from Freddie’s page alone. It is the largest single donation from a fundraising page the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital Charity have ever had. The support from Freddie and everyone who donated and left messages made a huge difference to Hughie while he was getting through the toughest rounds of treatment.
The boys have been working with the charity to decide where to spend the money. They have already bought items and equipment that are benefitting the incredibly brave children on Hughie’s ward – Ward 84, and throughout the hospital. They also have plans in the pipeline to rejuvenate the teen zone of the hospital.
But they aren’t stopping there. They have come up with an ambitious challenge for the next few months to raise more money for RMCH and other childrens hospitals across the country. Watch this space!