Taking on challenge in support of The Children’s Hospital in Sheffield for cancer patient pal

Four determined Aston school pals aim to raise vital funds for The Children’s Hospital in Sheffield in support of their friend Harrison Walch who is undergoing treatment there for cancer.

Thursday, 23rd May 2019, 10:45 am
Updated Thursday, 30th May 2019, 12:33 pm
Before his cancer diagnosis, 14 year-old Harrison Walch (front centre) with his family

The schoolboys are set to take on the hospital charity’s biggest event of the year, braving obstacles, inflatables, foam, water and mud to help the ward treating their friend.

Harrison, 14, was admitted to the Cancer and Leukaemia Ward at Sheffield Children’s Hospital last month. This July, friends Elliott Howson, Ryan Leather, Rhys Hudson and Joshua Mitchell will take on Theo’s Obstacle 5K at Hesley Wood Scout Camp.

The boys’ friendship has been fostered over a shared love of football, where they all played together for their local team, Aston Swallonest Boys Blue U15’s. They have so far raised more than £180 to the appeal to transform the ward where Harrison is undergoing treatment.

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Harrison’s Mum Nickie Walch, 40, explains his diagnosis: “Harrison was breaking out in bruises, but we put that down to just teenage boys playing football. He began looking pasty, feeling tired and lost his appetite, so we took him to our GP.”

After seeing his symptoms, the GP did a blood test, which confirmed a diagnosis of Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML). The aggressive form of cancer is caused by the rapid growth of abnormal white cells in the bone marrow and blood.

Harrison was admitted to Sheffield Children’s Hospital, where he has been undergoing intensive chemotherapy, which began last month.

Nickie added: “The staff are amazing, but the facilities are not what you would wish for when your child is so sick. It’s not a world we’ve been used to or needed to venture into, but it has been a real eye-opener for us.

Visit www.tchc.org.uk/events to take part in Theo’s 5K. Prices to take part in Theo’s obstacle course, £20 for adults and £14 for children, with group discounts available for family bookings.