A 10-year-old from Chalfont St Peter has been fundraising for Great Ormond Street Hospital to say thanks for looking after his younger sister.
Max Bilbie and his best friend Louis Evans, 11, are aiming to swim the entire 22 mile equivalent of Dover to Calais between them before the end of the year after Lola Bilbie, six, was diagnosed with cancer.
Over the summer young Lola was diagnosed with Rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare cancer that develops in the supporting tissues of the body.
Having had a tumour removed from her bile duct, along with her gall bladder, she is now undergoing a gruelling 10 month programme of chemotherapy and radiotherapy at GOSH.
Max said: “The hospital are taking good care of my little sister.
“Lola gets to make cool pieces of art for her hospital room with the help of a play specialist, and my mum gets to stay with her.”
The two boys started swimming at Chalfont Leisure Centre and Woodside Leisure Centre, Watford, on September 26.
Laura Savory, senior fundraising manager at Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity, said: “We’re so grateful to Max and Louis.
“Our charity helps to provide vital up-to-date equipment and fund research into better treatments for the children under our care.
“The money they raise will go directly to make a huge difference to young patients and families from across the UK.”
Debbie Evans, Louis’ mother, said of her god-daughter Lola: “She is the bravest, smartest, most caring and beautiful little girl you will ever meet and she is fighting every step of the way to kick cancer’s butt.
“I am so proud of the boys for setting their minds to this challenge, and for their determination to see it through.”
Claire Bilbie, Lola and Max’s mum, said: “We are so very proud of our boys.
“They have fitted in swimming every single week, no matter how much homework or other commitments they have had on.
“And the amount of money they have raised is incredible.
“Since Lola’s diagnosis, it has completely blown us away how kind, generous and supportive friends, family and even strangers are.
“We feel lucky to have such amazing people in our lives.”
Max and Louis smashed their original fundraising target within the first 2 weeks of their challenge, and it now stands at £3,233.94, 422% of their initial target.
All proceeds will go to Great Ormond Street Hospital.
Visit www.gosh.org or http:www.justgiving.com/fundraising/MaxandLouis22mileswim for more information.