Chiswick Schoolboy Joins Sir Ian Botham
As cricket legend steps out to raise vital funds for Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research
Chiswick school boy Joe Smale will join Sir Ian Botham as the cricket legend concludes his annual charity walk on Monday 19th April.
The 12-year-old leukaemia survivor from Chiswick will be helping raise vital funds for the blood cancer charity Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research.
Twenty-five years after his first walk, from John O'Groats to Land's End, Sir Ian will be dusting off his trainers once more for 'Beefy's Great Forget Me Not Walk' and is asking people around the country to join him and help the fight against childhood leukaemia.
His walk around London, on April 19, is the final of 10 walks in 10 days. Joe will join him to walk 10 miles through the city before heading to Hyde Park.
Joe was first diagnosed with leukaemia when he was just two years old and immediately underwent three years of intensive treatment at Great Ormond Street Hospital. Unfortunately in 2007, four years into Joe's remission, the family were dealt "the worst shock imaginable" when it emerged that the leukaemia had returned.
Mum Debbie said, "Joe was much older so it was much worse because he understood more what was going on. He is such a sporty lad and all of a sudden he was isolated from his friends and unable to take part in football, swimming and all the things he loves."
Fortunately, Joe is now in remission again and his life is getting back to normal. The family, including Joe, Debbie, Dad Tim and little sister Holly are dedicated fundraisers for Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research and have raised a fantastic £23,000 for the charity to date.
In 1985, when Beefy first started walking for Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research, the survival rate for the most common form of childhood leukaemia was just 20%. Now the survival rate is 90%.
Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research was previously known as Leukaemia Research. The charity, which celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2010, has changed its name to raise awareness of its long-standing commitment to research into all the blood cancers, including lymphoma and myeloma - not just leukaemia. For more information go to www.llresearch.org.uk.