September 2008
Marathon fund-raising events provide £225,000
for Leukaemia research

When 16-year-old Freddie was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia, his family, friends and teachers were keen to do anything they could to raise funds for research into the future treatment of the disease.

It was the start of three marathon fundraising events that would stop most people in their tracks!

And their incredible efforts have raised a staggering £225,000, much to the delight of Freddie´s consultant Professor Anthony Goldstone and the research team from University College Hospital and the Royal Free Hospital.

"It´s an amazing achievement and we can´t begin to express our gratitude to this incredible group of people who have done so much to support research into this vital area" says Professor Goldstone.

"The lengths they went to raise this money are simply extraordinary and I really do take my hat off to them!"

So how did they do it?

Freddie´s music teacher Tim Morris raised £14,500 by playing every single piece written for the organ by Bach without interruption. The marathon task took 17 hours, while church services continued and friends provided him with food and drink!

Angus McChesney, another of Freddie´s teachers, raised an astonishing £50,000 by swimming the English Channel from Shakespeare Beach in Dover to a sandy beach in north France near Cap Gris Nez.

The former leading oarsman completed the task in 12 hours and 45 minutes and was delighted to undertake the "challenge of a lifetime" for such an important research project.

Freddie and his family and friends also completed a skiing marathon, travelling the full length of all 53 ski lifts in the Meribel Valley in France in just one day.

80 competitors took part in the Coeur Blanc challenge to raise £175,000, with some of the proceeds going to organisations that support disabled skiers.

The marathon attempt started at 8.30am and, with the lifts shutting at 5pm, the race was on to complete the task, which had only been attempted once before. Luckily local ski guides were on hand to help the group.

"That was just a fantastic and exhausting experience" said former US Olympic skier Jack Miller after he completed the marathon. "I was only ever allowed to ski like that for two minutes a day when racing. To be able to do eight hours non stop was just sensational."

And how about Freddie, the teenager who had inspired so many people to raise vital funds? He not only completed the task, but managed to beat other competitors to the finishing post!

The money raised by the group exceeded even their expectations and the extra funds have been used to support a further research project in the same field.