A brave schoolboy who battled leukaemia will cheer on a team of cyclists as they tackle a charity bike ride in his honour.
More than 30 riders will get in the saddle on Sunday to cycle 25 miles from Southport to Abram.
The third annual ride has been inspired by seven-year-old Olly Johnson, from Abram, who was just two when he was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia.
For the first time, he will support riders at various points on the route, along with Josh Cubbin, from Swinley, who was treated at the same time as Olly for Burkitt’s lymphoma and whose father Ian will be cycling.
Olly’s mother Donna Johnson said: “Olly is really excited. He is going to spend the day with Josh, who he was in hospital with, and his mum, who will take them to some of the stops. He’s going to be more involved this year which he is excited about.”
The riders will include Olly’s parents Donna and Phil, his siblings Ellie, 19, and Callum, 16, and other relatives and friends.
They are raising money for two good causes supporting children with cancer - ward 84 at Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital, where Olly was treated, and charity Kidscan, which carries out research into treatment for poorly youngsters. Olly is an ambassador for the Salford-based charity.
Donna said: “There is still a large need for the treatments for children. It’s not fair they are just given adult doses. Their bodies aren’t prepared for it so often they get mouth ulcers, which stops them eating and makes them even more poorly.”
Previous rides have raised thousands of pounds for the charities and the cash is already rolling in this year.
Donna said: “We had a £500 target originally but we have already reached that and hope to get to £1,000.”
The cyclists are now keeping their fingers crossed for good weather and seeing Olly’s smiling face is bound to spur them on as they cover the miles. The youngster received chemotherapy every day for three years after being diagnosed with leukaemia.
His treatment finally ended in 2017 and the plucky Abram St John’s CE Primary pupil is now in remission. He is doing well and undergoes blood tests every six months to check everything is okay.
To sponsor the cyclists, go to uk.virginmoneygiving.com/PhilJohnson14.