An inspirational teenager is raising £150,000 for a children’s hospital - to ‘pay’ for the bone marrow transplant that saved his life.
Andrew Davies, 17, of Old Brampton, was diagnosed with leukaemia at the age of 13 and since recovering has already raised more than £90,000 for Sheffield Children’s Hospital.
He is now in the process of preparing for the next leg of his huge fundraising push - a ‘20-16’ challenge in which he will take part in 20 different sports in 16 hours.
He said: “When I first said I wanted to raise £150,000 people were amazed but to get to almost £100,000 after just two and a half years is really satisfying.
“My school have been really supportive - giving me time off whenever I’ve needed to do some fundraising and my friends, family and people from the community have been great as well.
“The reason I was so keen on doing the 20-16 challenge is that it combines my fundraising with sport, which is the thing that kept me positive through my illness.”
Andrew - who is currently studying for his A-Levels and hopes to study sport and exercise science at university - says he has never set himself targets for his fundraising, but thinks he may reach his total in around three years.
The event will take place on Friday July 15 at Andrew’s school - Lady Manners in Bakewell - where many of the other students will be joining in the challenge as well.
He has set a target of £3,000 to raise at that event, but would love for it to take his total over the £100,000 mark.
During his illness, Andrew was treated at Sheffield Children’s Hospital over many months, receiving three courses of chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant - at one point spending a month in isolation.
The hospital - with its expertise in childhood leukaemia - saved his life but also provided him and his family with ‘remarkable’ care as well.
Andrew’s dad, Paul, 58, said: “While Andrew was being treated he recognised how special the hospital was, and saw how many aspects of its extra special care were provided through donations and fundraising.
“He decided to do some fundraising himself and said his target would be the same as whatever the cost of his bone marrow transplant was.
“We managed to find out that was £150,000 and that is what Andrew has been doing ever since.”
Over the last four years, Andrew has done just about everything you can think of to raise money for the hospital.
He has bought and sold wristbands at school and has walked the Dales Way from Ilkley to Windermere.
He has also played in a charity football match at the Proact (and scored), spoken to local groups encouraging them to donate, was selected as the ‘giving Tuesday’ champion for 2015 and has inspired friends, family and others to organise events, to run marathons and make donations of their own.
As of today, Andrew has raised an astonishing £94,840 and the people at the hospital which saved his life are full of praise for him.
Gemma Bower, community fundraiser at Sheffield Children’s Hospital, said: “Andrew is an incredible young man, he has so far raised over £94,000, which helps us fund so much at Sheffield Children’s Hospital - including vital leukaemia research, equipment and furnishings for Ward M3.
“Andrew’s dedication to fundraising is phenomenal, alongside studying hard for his A-Levels, he has been determined to organise his upcoming 20-16 event. We are tremendously grateful for Andrew’s support.”
You can find out more about Andrew’s story, about the ‘20-16’ event, and donate to his appeal at www.justgiving.com/20-16.