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Andy’s epic trek will help appeal for toddler Ireland’s vital treatment

PUBLISHED: 16:30 22 August 2020 | UPDATED: 16:39 22 August 2020

Ireland Banham's family are raising funds to pay for life-saving treatment in the US Picture: RIKKI ADAMS

Ireland Banham's family are raising funds to pay for life-saving treatment in the US Picture: RIKKI ADAMS

RIKKI ADAMS

Fundraiser Andy Babington is hoping to raise thousands of pounds for Ipswich toddler Ireland Banham via an epic sponsored trek - but her family still needs to raise more than £170,000.

Andy Babington pictured after completing a previous charity trek to Hadrian's Wall. He is preparing for a charity trek to raise funds for Ireland Banham Picture: ANDY BABINGTONAndy Babington pictured after completing a previous charity trek to Hadrian's Wall. He is preparing for a charity trek to raise funds for Ireland Banham Picture: ANDY BABINGTON

So far, supporters have raised £58,000 to fund treatment for the two-year-old, who is battling against neuroblastoma, an aggressive form of cancer.

But fundraising has slowed down due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and last month Ireland’s mum, Chloe, voiced fears time was running out to raise the money for her daughter’s vaccine treatment in New York.

Andy, a gardener from Surrey, is planning to walk 81.5 miles from The Stadium of Light, Sunderland to Bowness on Solway, the end of Hadrian’s Wall, in a gruelling 48 hours from August 29-30. He has set himself a fundraising target of £2,500.

“When I heard about little Ireland I felt I could do something,” he said. “The training is going well - not long to go now.

A tender moment for Ireland Banham and mum Chloe Picture:  RIKKI ADAMSA tender moment for Ireland Banham and mum Chloe Picture: RIKKI ADAMS

“I try to do a charity event every year. Two years ago I did 52 miles across the Sahara in two days. This year’s was due in April but cancelled due to lockdown.”

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Andy heard about Ireland’s plight via the Bradley Lowery Foundation, which helped launch her fundraising campaign and has recently taken over fundraising for her.

MORE: Don’t let time run out to fund Ireland’s treatment

The charity was set up in memory of Bradley, six, who lost his battle with neuroblastoma in July 2017.

Andy Babington is undertaking an 81-mile trek to raise money for Ipswich toddler Ireland Banham Picture: ANDY BABINGTONAndy Babington is undertaking an 81-mile trek to raise money for Ipswich toddler Ireland Banham Picture: ANDY BABINGTON

Ireland’s aunt, Rikki Adams, said: “Andy is an absolute superstar and we can’t thank him enough for the support that he’s showing Ireland and the trek he is soon to be walking.

“We appreciate each and every single person who helps to fundraise for Ireland and can’t thank them enough for their help and support, not only to Ireland but our family as a whole.”

Ireland has undergone a range of gruelling 12-hour operations, chemotherapy, radiotherapy and other treatments, spending time at both Ipswich and Addenbrooke’s Hospitals, She is currently back at Addenbrooke’s for her next round of immunotherapy.

The vaccine treatment could prevent her from relapsing - but the money needs to be raised by October so she can receive the treatment at the right time, when she is in remission.

To sponsor Andy’s trek for Ireland, visit his JustGiving page.


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