Ten-year-old William Lewis, who was diagnosed with a brain tumour at the age of four, will be raising money to help other youngsters when he takes on the Grand East Anglia Run challenge next month.
Brave William will walk the 1.2-mile Mini GEAR in King’s Lynn on Sunday, May 6 in aid of Reach for a Star – the charity set up by his dad James in 2012 to help other parents of children with life-threatening medical conditions.
The Lynn-based charity helps fund medical equipment and therapies not available on the NHS and aims to ease the financial burden faced by families who are already going through a difficult time.
Mr Lewis said: “At school William was asked about his aspirations for the future. He said he wanted to own and run a chip shop, ensure everyone in the world had access to clean water and help children in a similar situation to him.”
The father and son team will walk the Mini-GEAR course together and have already raised around £400 for Reach for a Star, with more sponsorship money to come.
In order to help towards William’s vision of clean water for all, Mr Lewis has pledged to match 10 per cent of whatever his son raises for Reach for a Star to WaterAid, a charity which aims to make clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene normal for everyone, everywhere.
William, a pupil at Holly Meadows School in Pott Row, underwent multiple chemotherapy sessions and operations on his brain tumour before being treated with proton therapy in America, which stopped the tumour growing.
Mr Lewis said: “Although William was lucky to receive the treatment he was given and able to fight off the potentially terminal condition, the battle has taken its toll on him.
“Almost six years later, William remains with a hemispheric disability affecting his left side, making it difficult to walk or undertake many tasks requiring full strength in either arms or hands.
“William does have a wheelchair but tries not to use it and he does require therapeutic splint appliances to his leg and arm.
“However, William remains positive and strong-minded and hasn’t let the original tumour or his disability dampen his spirits or dull his smile.”
Mr Lewis added: “The 1.2-mile route will be like a marathon to him. He’s really excited and is in training and is walking everywhere.
“It will be hard work for him and exhausting but he is determined to finish and raise money for Reach for a Star. Anybody who has met William knows he will do his very best.”
To sponsor William go online at: https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/WilliamLewis07