A boy with cancer has completed a fun run to raise money for a Torbay charity that gave him and his family a free holiday.
Jake Rees, 11, from Newquay in Cornwall was diagnosed with leukaemia nearly a year ago in September 2016.
At Easter this year, Jake, together with his two brothers and mum Kathryn, stayed at Hotel De La Mer in Babbacombe as guests of the Torbay Holiday Helpers Network (THHN). The charity offers expenses-paid holidays to families affected by serious illness and bereavement.
Afterwards, Jake, a keen runner, wanted to give something back and in June took part in the Cubert Fun Run, even though he had just finished his fourth cycle of chemotherapy. The determined schoolboy wanted to challenge himself and, at the same time, raise vital funds for the charities that had helped him.
As a result of his fundraising run, Jake recently made a donation of £100 to THHN.
“The holiday from THHN meant a lot to my family as we had a brilliant time and it was a distraction from the hard time we’ve had at home,” said Jake Rees.
“Our lives have changed so much but for a few days we could forget that I was ill.
“I have always done the Cubert fun run but this year it was particularly difficult. I wanted to help other sick children have the same amazing holiday that me and my family had.”
In spite of fatigue from the chemo, Jake completed the mile-long run in just over ten minutes.
Luke Tillen, proprietor of Hotel De La Mer and founder of THHN, said: “This is an amazing gesture from a very special boy.
“We applaud Jake’s courage and tenacity in taking on the fun run, but above all we are touched by his generosity and his selflessness.
“The funds he has raised will help other families enjoy much-needed memory-making holidays.”
THHN has given away more than 600 holidays since its inception in 2009. Torbay-based tourism and other businesses provide free accommodation, food, passes to local attractions and gifts.
Guests are referred to THHN by national charities, including Clic Sargent, Rainbow Trust Children’s Charity, Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital, Barnardo’s and Victim Support.
(from a press release)