Thomas crosses the finishing line as he runs a mile a day in memory of the brother he never met
Six-year-old Thomas Dale, from Shotton Colliery, asked his parents if he could help to collect cash after the anniversary of his brother Jayden’s death last month.
He died on July 17, 2013, when mum Zoe was 24-weeks pregnant, with the 24-year-old and husband John, 29, mindful to talk about their eldest son so Thomas and brother Jack, four, know about him.
The family decided to raise funds for 4Louis, a Sunderland charity which helps people through the loss of a baby, with Thomas setting out on a daily run in return for donation.
The Our Lady of Lourdes Primary School pupil and Shotton Colts Under 7s player even completed his mile around Shotton Park on his birthday.
He was joined during the 17-day task by members of Shotton Colliery FC and Leeds United Ladies, with officers from Durham Constabulary also calling by to cheer him on as the community turned out to support him as he ticked off his runs.
He has now raised more than £2,500 to gift to the fund, with 4Louis’ chairman Bob McGurrell among those to celebrate his achievement.
In addition to keeping him active during the school holidays and help him in the aftermath of the lockdown, the sessions have also helped him as he continues to grieve for his grandmother Susan Carol Banks, who died of cancer last August aged 52.
His family is now hoping his dream of taking a victory lap around Elland Road Stadium, as he is a huge fan of Leeds United, with a message being sent to club bosses to ask if they can make it a reality.
Zoe, who thanked all those who turned out to support her son, said: “Thomas did amazingly well and has taken each mile as it comes and never stopped.
"He has made his family, friends and community proud.”
Donations can still be added to the fund via https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/anne-marie-banks1.