Sunderland firefighters preparing for grueling child cancer fundraising challenge backed by Olympian and Commonwealth Games medal winner

A team of firefighters preparing to take on a charity walking challenge have been backed on their journey by an Olympian race walker.

Crew manager Peter Wilson is scheduled to be accompanied by 14 of his colleagues from Sunderland Central Community Fire Station, as they embark on the Three Peaks Challenge in Yorkshire.

Crew manager Wilson is leading the trek to raise money for his nephew Oliver Maw, who is suffering from a rare form of childhood cancer, Neuroblastoma.

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Oliver, seven, one of triplets from Sunderland, needs to raise £260,000 to travel to New York for urgent life-saving treatment and is being supported by the Bradley Lowery Foundation.

Crew Manager Peter Wilson with triplets Oscar, Oliver and Owen at Sunderland Central Community Fire Station with Lynn Murphy and Gemma Lowery of the Bradley Lowery Foundation.
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And as they make their final preparations to head off, members of the team have been given words of advice by British two time Olympic race walker Tom Bosworth, who holds three World Bests including the World Best for the one-mile race walk.

Contacted on Twitter for some guidance ahead of the fundraising expedition, he said: “What a fabulous cause and I’m sending positive thoughts to them as they take this on and of course to dear Oliver.

“Advice start steady… you’ve got a long challenge ahead, and of course use that passion and motivation from the reason you’re taking it on, to get you through!!”

He added: "Oliver is the star I hope despite everything he has a smile on his face and bravery in his heart. Will take a little piece of his story with me into my races going forwards that’s for sure.”

So far, the campaign, Oliver’s Fight Against Neuroblastoma campaign, has collected £94,669 towards treatment costs.

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The Yorkshire Three Peaks challenge takes in the mountains of Whernside, Ingleborough and Pen-y-ghent, in the Pennines, with competitors aiming to complete the circuit in less than 12 hours.

Crew manager Wilson said: “We have a long way to go until we reach our target enabling Oliver to travel to America for his treatment.

"But the monies raised from the forthcoming Three Peaks Challenge in Yorkshire being tackled by myself and other firefighters from TWFRS will be a massive boost for the fundraiser.

“I’m in awe of my firefighter family!”

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