Getting back in the saddle for battling schoolboy Olly
A brave schoolboy who battled a serious illness is inspiring people to get on their bikes to raise money for two good causes.
Olly Johnson received chemotherapy treatment every day after being diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia when he was just two.
Other news: Brothers are jailed for cash machine blastBut he finally rang the bell on ward 84 at Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital in July to mark the end of his treatment and is now in remission.
The plucky six-year-old was the inspiration behind a charity bike ride from Southport to Abram last year which raised more than £3,000.
And his loved ones will use pedal power once again when they repeat the challenge in honour of Olly.
His mother Donna, from Abram, said: “When we did the bike ride last year it was for Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital’s ward 84, which was where he was treated.
“This year we are doing it for that charity, but also for Kidscan, which is a children’s cancer charity. Olly has been asked to be a patient ambassador for them. We are raising half the money for them.
“They have labs in Salford and are putting money into research into cancer treatment for children. Often they are given adult chemotherapy but less in volume, but they struggle with a lot of them.”
So far 28 people plan to take part in the bike ride, including Olly’s parents Donna and Phil, his siblings Ellie and Callum, and other relatives.
Jane and Ian Cubbin, from Swinley, whose son Josh was treated on the same ward for Burkitt’s lymphoma, will also be getting on their bikes.
While Olly will not be taking part, he will be waving off the cyclists and welcoming them back to Abram.
The ride, which covers around 20 miles, will be held on Saturday, June 2 and people can still sign up.
After being diagnosed, Olly had chemotherapy every day for three years, taking it as medication at home and going to hospital every two weeks.
But now that he is in remission he only goes to hospital every three months for check-ups.
Olly is now able to enjoy many activities and is doing well at Abram St John’s CE Primary School.
Donna said: “He used to pick up the slightest bug quite easily because the chemo was almost designed to keep his immune system down. He picks up less now and his energy levels have come back.
“He had previously tried swimming lessons and Beavers, but he only did Beavers once and got tired and he didn’t do a full swimming block. Now he does Beavers on a Monday, swimming on a Tuesday and football on a Thursday.”
The cyclists hope to raise £1,000 for the charities and donations are being collected online here.
To find out more about the bike and to take part, email Donna at [email protected]