Man takes on 844-mile cycle ride for heroic toddler with rare brain tumour
- Credit: Brain Tumour Research/Crick Family
A west Suffolk man is taking on an epic 844-mile cycling challenge to support a toddler fighting a rare brain tumour.
Rhys Carpenter, from Stanton, is taking on the challenge this month to raise money for Brain Tumour Research, after becoming inspired by the story of brave Harry Crick.
Harry, two, was diagnosed with the rare embryonal tumour with multi-layered rosettes (ETMR) in December last year, after he became unsteady on his feat.
The aggressive tumour is classified as grade four, with a prognosis of just 12 months.
He underwent surgery on Christmas Eve at Addenbrooke's Hospital, in Cambridge, to remove the tennis ball-sized tumour, followed by five rounds of chemotherapy.
Scans earlier this year however revealed the tumour was growing back, with the family securing a place at a specialist treatment centre in Essen, Germany.
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He is now coming to the end of the 30 proton beam therapy sessions there, and is due to return home with his family on August 17.
The 844-mile distance Mr Carpenter is cycling is twice the distance of their home in Elmswell to the west German city.
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Mr Carpenter, 27, said: “My sister Abbie is good friends with Harry’s parents, Matt and Nelly.
"When I heard about little Harry’s diagnosis, I felt so sad and was compelled to do something to help.
“Nobody deserves to deal with this type of devastating illness but especially not an innocent young child like Harry. He’s such a lovely boy; always smiling.
"Harry has three older brothers - James, who is five, nine-year-old Olly and 10-year-old Finley.
"Olly and Finley had to stay in England with their mum while the rest of the family temporarily relocated to Germany. It’s torn the family apart.
"Matt does such a good job of staying positive for everyone but it can’t be easy. We all just want this nightmare to be over for them.”
Mr Carpenter's challenge sees him cycle on his Boardman road bike for an average of 27.5 miles a day.
As well as cycling, he has designed ‘Our Harry, Our Hero’ wristbands, which he has been selling to help boost funds for Brain Tumour Research.
The two fundraisers combined have so far raised more than £2,500.
Harry’s dad Matt Crick, a 33-year-old stable yardman, said: “It means so much to us that Rhys is undertaking this amazing challenge in honour of Harry.
“We’ve never actually met Rhys in person, so the fact he’s chosen to do this for our chosen charity is incredible.
"I’m looking forward to supporting his challenge by joining him on some of his rides when we get back home.”
England star Harry Kane has also voiced his support the family, sending a message to Harry's brother ahead of the Euro 2020 final earlier this year.
To make a donation to Brain Tumour Research via Rhys’s fundraising page, visit here.