Jack set for fire station marathon

ONE Ipswich youngster is gearing up to take on an unusual dash around Suffolk visiting every fire station in the county - all to raise money for charity.

ONE Ipswich youngster is gearing up to take on an unusual dash around Suffolk visiting every fire station in the county - all to raise money for charity.

But at just eight years old, Jack Driver will be relying on the taxi of mum and dad to help him achieve his goal in one day.

The youngster, who lives on Beverley Road, will attempt to visit the 35 fire stations, leaving Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service headquarters at 7am on Sunday hoping to cross the finishing post at Princes Street fire station by 8pm.

The “fire service mad” youngster is raising money for Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge where he is currently receiving treatment.

In May 2008 Jack was taken ill and later last year he was diagnosed with aplastic anaemia.

The condition causes his immune system to attack blood products produced by his bone marrow. As a result he needs weekly platelet transfusions and fortnightly blood transfusions.

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In April 2009 Jack underwent three-weeks of treatment in isolation at Addenbrookes to suppress his immune system, which will hopefully gradually build back and stop attacking his own cells.

Helen Driver, Jack's mum, said he is really excited and has so far managed to raise about �400 for Addenbrookes Hospital.

She said her son is keen to help other children at the hospital, raising the money to buy new equipment or toys for the children's ward to make their stay more fun and comfortable.

“Jack is obsessed with the fire service and wanted to combine this with raising money for the ward he stayed on,” she said.

“Depending on how much money is raised, Jack wants to buy either some specialised equipment or toys and comfort items to help children when staying on the ward, or both!

“He is really looking forward to it, it will be a long day but well worth it.”

Assistant chief fire officer for Suffolk Gary Phillips said he thinks this is the first challenge of its kind ever attempted in the county.

“I think it is magnificent,” he said. “He is such a brave little lad, really enthusiastic and happy.

“We are ready to give him every support, all pitched up and looking forward to seeing him. We wish him the best of luck.”

1. HQ Colchester Rd

2. Felixstowe

3. Woodbridge

4. Orford

5. Aldeburgh

6. Leiston

7. Saxmundham

8. Southwold

9. Wrentham

10. Clifton Rd

11. Normanshurst

12. Beccles

13. Bungay

14. Halesworth

15. Stradbroke

16. Framlingham

17. Debenham

18. Eye

19. Elmswell

20. Ixworth

21. Brandon

22. Mildenhall

23. Newmarket

24. Bury St Edmunds

25. Wickhambrook

26. Haverhill

27. Clare

28. Melford

29. Sudbury

30. Nayland

31. Hadleigh

32. Stowmarket

33. Needham Market

34. Holbrook

35. Princes Street