Bike ride of love for brave Oliver

Oliver Johnson, who has leukaemia and has nearly finished chemotherapy
Oliver Johnson, who has leukaemia and has nearly finished chemotherapy

Family and friends will be getting in the saddle this weekend in honour of a brave boy battling leukaemia.

Six-year-old Oliver Johnson was diagnosed with leukaemia just before his third birthday and has been receiving treatment since.

But in just over five weeks he will finish the chemotherapy he has been receiving every day for three years.

To mark the milestone and thank the hospital where Oliver is being treated, his loved ones have organised a fund-raising bike ride.

They will cycle 20 miles from Southport to his home town of Abram on Saturday to support ward 84 at Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital.

His mum Donna said: “Oliver wouldn’t be there today if it wasn’t for the hospital. From the beginning, from being diagnosed, the support they have given has been amazing. He is on a trial for his type of leukaemia and the time the doctors spend with us is brilliant. Even now we see his consultant every two weeks and if we have any questions, they answer them and explain things.”

Oliver was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia when he was just two.

Mrs Johnson said: “He was very poorly for the first 12 months. He was in hospital for a long time.”

Since then Oliver has been having chemotherapy every day, taking it as medication at home and going to hospital every two weeks.

His mum said he does pick up infections easily, but he is doing well and attends Abram St John’s CE Primary School.

The chemotherapy will end on Sunday, July 9 and Oliver will be able to ring the bell on ward 84 to signal his treatment is over.

Mrs Johnson said: “It will be emotional but we are looking forward to it. When he was first diagnosed, we thought it was nice to watch other children ring the bell but it was hard because we knew it was three years to go.”

To thank the ward for all their help, Oliver’s friends and family will tackle the bike ride on Saturday.

Around 35 people are taking part, including his mum, dad Phil, sister Ellie, 18, and brother Callum, 14.

Mrs Johnson said: “I’m quite nervous and I only bought a bike on Sunday, but we are looking forward to it.”

The group aimed to raise £500 to fund research and buy toys and equipment for other children on the ward.

But they have already smashed their target and collected nearly £700 online so far.

To sponsor the riders, go to www.justgiving.com/fundraising/oliversbikeride.