Peter Wilson, who is a crew manager for Sunderland Central Community Fire Station, is set to take on the Three Peaks Challenge to help raise money for his nephew, Oliver Maw, who was diagnosed with neuroblastoma in February last year.
The 51-year-old, from Silksworth, will take on the 26-mile challenge on July 19 as Oliver’s family continue their efforts to raise £260,000 to secure treatment in the United States.
Oliver gradually became poorly over a four-month period and tests revealed that he had stage four neuroblastoma and has since been going through gruelling rounds of chemotherapy and radiotherapy at the Royal Victoria Infirmary (RVI) in Newcastle and the Royal Marsden.
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Given the high relapse rate of neuroblastoma, it is hoped that a potentially life-saving vaccine, which is only available abroad, will help aid Oliver’s fight against the rare childhood cancer.
Peter, who has been a firefighter for nearly 30 years, will be joined by 13 firefighter colleagues as they aim to walk the Three Peaks in Yorkshire in just under 12-hours.
He said: “Oliver is so brave. His positive attitude towards life enables him to tackle anything that is thrown his way.
“I’ve never heard him once complain about having to undergo the gruelling treatment.
“All of Oliver’s friends and family are tirelessly helping to achieve the final total. I just want to do my bit. Time isn’t on our side.
“We have six-months to raise thousands of pounds to get Oliver on that plane to America. We can do it!
“Oliver’s cheeky grin lights up any room, and we just want to get him better so we’ll move heaven and earth to do so.”
Oliver, who lives with mum Phillipa, his identical brothers Owen and Oscar and big sister Lily in Millfield, is being supported by the Bradley Lowery Foundation, who know all too well about what his family is going through.
Gemma Lowery, the mum of Bradley who died at the age of six after his battle with neuroblastoma, has highlighted how urgent it is that Oliver gets the treatment he needs.
She commented: “It’s heart-breaking when any child and their family receive a diagnosis like Oliver’s.
“It’s urgent that we raise the additional funds needed to get Oliver the treatment in New York by the end of the year.
“We are urging the community to get behind Oliver, just like they did with Brad. We have been working with Oliver and his family for almost a year, and still have a long way to go to get him to his £260k target.
“It’s amazing that Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service are coming on board to support Oliver.
"They have a very difficult job to do and taking time from their busy schedule to help raise money towards the treatment.”
So far, more than £79,000 has been raised and members of the public can donate by clicking here.
Alternatively, people can also donate £2 by texting the word “Oliver” to 70450.