TWENTY-seven Children’s Hospital Charity supporters took part in the 25-mile trek of the Yorkshire Three Peaks on Saturday 22 July and raised over £21K for Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust.
Of those walking, three families working closely with the Charity took part: Team Oliver Howe, Team Esmée, and Team Heidi.
Having previously shared their stories with The Children’s Hospital Charity, parents, close family members, and friends of patients treated at Sheffield Children’s took on the challenge as a thank-you for the care of their children.
Among the parents was David Howe, dad of Oliver Howe, who sadly passed away earlier this year after a brave battle with a brain tumour aged just eight years old. Dedicated supporters of the charity, Team Oliver Howe has raised thousands throughout Oliver’s treatment and after.
“We promised Oliver that the fundraising in his name will be something we always do. He loved raising money, and even though he has now passed away, that promise remains!
“Team Oliver Howe is Oliver’s legacy and is something that we will continue to grow.
“Oliver faced cancer with pure determination and never lost the smile on his face. The challenges we do to raise money are nothing compared to the challenges that Oliver overcame when he was diagnosed with a brain tumour in September 2020.
“He faced everything head-on, rarely complained and was always thinking of others.
“A few months before he died, he came out with a quote that I never thought I’d hear an eight-year-old say. He said, ‘I’m glad I’ve got cancer.’ Shocked and worried, we asked him why he would say that. Oliver replied: ‘Because if I didn’t we wouldn’t have raised all this money for the other boys and girls….and I wouldn’t be famous.’ He wasn’t wrong!
“The walk was the hardest physical challenge I have ever done but failure was never an option. Oliver faced and overcame much harder challenges than we did. We miss him so much and he is loved so much.”
A team of nine took to the Yorkshire Three Peaks for Esmée, who was treated at Sheffield Children’s after suffering from kidney failure.
Esmée was diagnosed with a very rare genetic disease called Atypical Haemolytic Uraemic Syndrome (aHUS), and, with the help of Sheffield Children’s, now receives life-saving medicine every two weeks, and the family is learning how to live with her condition.
Esmée’s mum, Betty, said:
“We are delighted to have taken part in the Yorkshire 3 Peaks challenge for such a wonderful cause.
“The weather made this challenge incredibly hard but we never gave up, we stuck together to get everyone through their low points.
“We reminded ourselves that this challenge is nothing in comparison to what Esmée went through, so we plucked up our courage and completed it!
“We have made memories that will last a lifetime and met a bunch of incredible people who are also part of the Team Theo family!”
A mother and her team of fellow midwives at Rotherham Hospital, Team Heidi, walked as a thank you for the care of 6-year-old Heidi, diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia in August last year.
Heidi’s mum, Lucy, said:
“We were super nervous but also excited! However, if the Yorkshire Three Peaks challenge represented anything, it demonstrated the sheer rollercoaster that is having a sick child. Uphill battles, turbulence, and plenty of sweat and tears. But we finished it to make Heidi proud. Just like she makes us all proud every single day.
“We were honoured to be able to do this for the children’s hospital and will forever do whatever it takes to keep raising funds for Sheffield Children’s.”
The money raised through the Yorkshire Three Peaks challenge supports specialist treatment from head to toe, by funding life-saving equipment, new and improved facilities, a comfortable environment and vital research, which changes paediatric care for thousands of children from across the world who visit Sheffield Children’s.
Being one of just three standalone specialist children’s hospitals in the UK, Sheffield Children’s is supported by the Charity to provide the best possible care for children all over Yorkshire, the UK and beyond.
If you’d like to donate to the Yorkshire Three Peaks challenge fundraising, please visit: events.tchc.org.uk/