School friends get on their bikes for brave Zakk

Pupils and teachers from Tibshelf Community School set off on a bike ride to raise money for fellow pupil, Zakk Dluzewski.

Pupils and teachers from Tibshelf Community School set off on a bike ride to raise money for fellow pupil, Zakk Dluzewski.

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The school friends of a seriously-ill teenager have raised more than £1,000 for him - by getting on their bikes.

Over the last few months, 15-year-old Zakk Dluzewski - who has cancer - has been the subject of a huge fundraising campaign.

Jack Arnold and Thomas Allsop from Tibshelf Community School.

Jack Arnold and Thomas Allsop from Tibshelf Community School.

And a group from Tibshelf Community School - where Zakk goes to school - cycled 40 miles to give his fund a further boost.

The Tibshelf pupil who organised the ride, Thomas Allsop, says he wanted to do all he could to help his friend.

He said: “I had noticed that Zakk hadn’t been at school for a while and when I found out that he was really ill it came as a bit of a shock, especially after what he had been through after losing his dad.

“I spoke to my parents and said that I wanted to do something to help and eventually came up with the idea of a bike ride with the help of Mr Woodhouse, my head of year.

We just want to let him know that we are thinking of him.

Ride organiser, Thomas Allsop

“When I mentioned that we were going to do a bike ride to my friends and teachers, they were more than willing to join me in my efforts to raise £1,000.”

“Zakk is only 15 and not only has the loss of his dad to cope with but has to endure painful weekly trips to Sheffield for treatment.

“He is also missing out on the last year at secondary school with all his mates.

“We just want to let him know that we are thinking of him and raise some money to put a smile on his face and make one of his dreams come true.”

Zakk was diagnosed with cancer in August - just two years after his dad Gaz died from the same disease at the age of 37.

Since then, his family and friends have been raising money to give him the trip of a lifetime to New York.

Now - having had more than £6,000 raised for them already - the whole family hopes to go America and will jet off when Zakk is well enough.

Regarding the ride, Thomas says it was important they set off from school and that they cycled a good distance.

It also needed to be safe and challenging at the same time, as not everyone cycled regularly.

One of his teachers suggested a ride to Rother Valley Country Park and back, as it was mainly centred around trails.

After starting the ride at 9am from school, they arrived at Rother Valley Country Park at about 12.15pm.

They then set off back at 1pm, finally getting back to school just before 4pm - after cycling for around six hours in total.

As well as organising the ride itself, Thomas has also set up a website where people can donate to Zakk’s fund online at www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/cycle4zakk.