Young Sunderland rugby players take on charity walk for seven-year-old with meningitis
Sunderland children will be pounding the pavement to fundraise for a fellow young rugby player with meningitis.
On Sunday, February 23 around 40 of Sunderland RFC’s under-sevens, eights and nines are hoping to complete a sponsored walk to raise money for a young boy with Meningococcal Meningitis.
Starting from Herrington Country Park, the youngsters will complete the Penshaw Monument Heritage Trail One.
Seven-year-old Luke Mortimer, who plays Skipton RFC, fell ill with meningitis in December last year.
He has endured hours of surgery to remove both hands and both legs below the knee.
The walk was set to raise money for rugby tours and other items, but when the team learned of Luke’s story they decided that half of the funds would be donated to his cause.
Amy Moran, of Sunderland RFC, said: “It pulled everything massively into perspective because he is a similar age to our rugby children.
“We wanted to show his family and his team that they have our support.
“We’re so proud of the children working so hard and walking so far. We’re hoping the North East will come together to support us.”
The mini explorers will trek an impressive four miles.
Robbie Schindler, who also helps with the club, added: “The children want to be involved even though it’s not their friend because he is still one of them and of a similar age.
“We have a GoFundMe page and most of the kids have got sponsor forms which they’re taking around Sunderland.”
Further fundraising is taking place in Luke’s name across the UK.
His dad Adam Mortimer added: “As a family we have been dumbfounded by the words of support and the fundraising that has and still is continuing.
“We can't thank everyone personally, but if we could we would.
“Everything from the donations to messages of support have helped us through the tougher times of our hospital stay.
“Luke gets a massive boost from the videos of personal messages from his friends, rugby and gootball clubs and the icing on the cake is the surprise videos from celebrities.”
To sponsor the Sunderland RFC players click here.