A 10-year-old cancer patient has implored members of the public to join him in raising money for the hospital that saved his life.
Rowan Pethard rang the Great Ormond Street “end of treatment” bell on August 8, marking the last chemotherapy cycle after being diagnosed with leukaemia in March 2015 – and now plans to take part in a fun run to help the hospital’s charity.
The youngster is aiming to get at least 100 people to join his team as he takes part in the RBC Race for the Kids 5K family fun run.
His family have taken part in the fundraising event before – including having to take the youngster around the course in a wheelchair after he succumbed to extreme side effects of his cancer treatment.
Previously, they have managed to get a team of 50 people together and raised more than £30,000 for the renowned children’s hospital.
Rowan, from Hemel Hempstead, was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia when he was just about to turn six years old, after he collapsed in his mother’s arms outside the family’s GP surgery.
He was admitted to GOSH and has been undergoing intense chemotherapy for the last few years.
The youngster’s chemotherapy regime affected his mobility in his arms, legs and hands – so much so that he has had to stop playing in his football team.
His mother Abby Pethard, 42, said: “Rowan got his disability very early on, in the first six months, but we’ve still done Race for the Kids every year, and every year Rowan has been determined to do it.
“Every year he has done it whether that be walking a bit, running a bit.
“One year he just couldn’t do it at all, so we pushed him round in a wheelchair and he got out to walk the last 100 yards over the finish line which was very emotional – all our family and friends were there cheering him on, we were all very emotional and he was crying as he passed the finish line.
“Although he’s always been poorly, he’s always been determined to get a team together and every year we have and we will continue to do so.
“We’re very much looking forward to doing it this year. And because this is the year Rowan has finished his chemo, that is why we wanted to get together a special team so we’re on track to get 100 people in our team.”
RBC Race for the Kids is a 5K family fun run on October 13 at London’s Hyde Park and helps support Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity.
Presenter Gabby Logan joined Rowan and some other children planning to take part in the race at a launch event in Hyde Park.
For more information visit: www.gosh.org/raceforthekids