Three-year-old completes 100 Mile Cycling Challenge

A three-year-old from Oxfordshire has ridden 100 miles in March to support his local cancer hospital.

Freddie Clayton from Carterton has been raising funds for Oxford Hospitals Charity by cycling every day in his home town, inspired by the care his grandad is receiving for cancer.

On Easter Saturday he completed his final mile of the epic challenge, dressed as a superhero and cheered on by friends and family.

Last November Freddie's beloved ‘Grampy’, Peter Wheatley, also from Carterton was diagnosed with mouth cancer and had surgery and a long stay in the Churchill Hospital in Oxford.

The pair had a very special relationship and saw each other everyday, bonding over their love of superheroes, DC and marvel comics.

Freddie’s Mum, Kathryn said: “Every day Freddie wanted to know when his Grampy was coming home to play and be silly with him  - and we told him that the doctors at the hospital were busy getting him better.”

Freddie told his mum he wanted to do something ‘to help Gampy’s hospital’ and had just learned to ride his bike without stabilisers. So to help keep Freddie’s mind off missing his Grampy while he was in hospital the family had the idea of riding his bike every day.

Kathryn explains: “We thought a challenge might help him to feel like he’s doing something to help. Even at three years old he understands that he can make a difference, which is really special. He actually learned about the idea of fundraising through Paddington stories, so understands the concept well.

“He is a really determined little boy despite his young age, and had recently started riding his bike without stabilisers, and was getting really good. So we thought that bike riding would be a great challenge and he was so excited to get started and raise money to help others like his Grampy.

“The plan was that he would cycle every day through March with the aim of reaching 100 miles. It’s been an incredibly wet and windy month but every day he was determined to go out and ride some miles. He even managed six miles on one day - and still went outside to play when he got back.’

“We thought we might raise a couple of hundred pounds for the charity, and have been overwhelmed by how everyone has got behind his fundraising, with people donating from across the country.

“I’m immensely proud of him, my heart swells with pride – he’s got us out every day no matter what the weather, as he says ‘We’ve got to raise the money mummy.’ It’s helped us all cope with a really difficult time and my dad has loved seeing all the little videos of Freddie riding his miles in different costumes.

“Dad has now completed a six-week course of radiotherapy, and has had major surgery, so it’s been really tough, but he’s keeping his sense of humour, and Freddie’s adventure has kept him smiling through.

“When he first came home for a bit after the surgery Freddie wanted to head straight to check to him. We explained that he would look a bit different, but he’s taken everything in his stride and was quickly asking Grampy to play superheroes and hide and seek. They have such a special bond and this has only made it stronger.”

Freddie's Justgiving page (link below) has now raised over £3,000 with money still coming in to recognise the toddler’s incredible achievements.

Jane Bray from Oxford Hospitals Charity said “There is something very special about what Freddie has been doing and it has touched all our hearts. The relationship he has with his Grampy is really beautiful and we are so pleased that this incredible challenge has helped the family through a really difficult time.

Lorna Eaton from the charity’s supporter care team added: “Freddy is the youngest fundraiser any of the charity team can remember and he has inspired us all. He is the most incredible little chap and we are honoured that he chose our charity to support.”

Freddie’s fundraising will help Oxford Hospital Charity provide extra support for cancer patients at the Churchill Hospital in Oxford. 

There’s still time to donate and help this special little boy raise even more to help local cancer patients  

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