A YOUNG Sheffield boy who swam more than a mile with his best pal is set to raise £2,500 for cancer sufferers after he lost his mum to the disease.
Luke Turner and Sam Bromley, both aged nine, swam a total of 5,000 metres at Chapeltown Baths in memory of Luke’s mum Joanne, who died of breast cancer just before her 40th birthday.
Lee Turner, Luke’s dad, said he was ‘bursting with pride’ after watching his son, adding the schoolboy was ‘determined’ to finish the event.
Lee, 41, said: “It was fantastic. They both swam 109 lengths each non-stop, so between the two of them they did 5,000 metres, more than three miles.
“They did it non-stop, which for two nine-year-olds is some going.”
Lee, of Hesley Grove, Chapeltown, said the boys swam side-by-side until Sam finished first - but dedicated Luke completed the last 30 lengths alone.
Lee said: “He was the only one left, so everybody sat cheering him on.
“He was determined to finish. If he’d had 100 lengths to do, he’d have just carried on.”
Joanne was diagnosed with breast cancer when Luke was three. She continued to work and volunteer for schools while undergoing a mastectomy, courses of chemotherapy and radiotherapy. However, she lost her fight and died in January 2010 when Luke was seven.
Luke and Sam, pupils at Lound Junior School, were raising money for Marie Curie Cancer Care.
Lee said: “I think we’ll raise in the region of £2,500 by the time we’ve finished collecting all the money.
“I’m bursting with pride. Our friends said his mum would have been there all the way with him. I’m elated, I’m so proud of him.”
Lee, an IT contracts manager, said Luke prepared by using a games console, as well as training in the pool, and is committed to helping find a cure for cancer.
He said: “When Luke hears the word cancer now, he says ‘we’ve got to get rid of this’.
“We put a memorial in the paper, and in it he said he hopes they find a cure for cancer, because nobody should go through what we have to.”
n To sponsor the boys, visit www.swimathon.org and search for their names.