Friends forever: Schoolboy (9) smashes fundraising target raising an incredible £52k for hospital where best pal is being treated
He began with a modest goal of raising £1,000, but nine-year-old Freddie Xavi has smashed his target after thousands of people made donations towards his worthwhile cause.
A pupil of Whalley Primary School and avid Clarets fan, Freddie has been running 2km every day since November 6th in a bid to hit his 62-mile goal to raise as much money as possible for Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital, where his pal Hughie Higginson is receiving treatment for leukaemia. His hard work is paying off as he has racked up an impressive £52k in donations from across the globe!
Ten-year-old Hughie, who is a pupil at Wheatley Lane Primary School, Fence, was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia in September, and faces three-and-a-half years of treatment at RMCH.
A signed player at Accrington Stanley's Academy in their Under-10s team, Freddie's fundraising efforts will reach a conclusion on Christmas Day. He will have covered 100km - which equates to 60 miles. Since his running challenge began, Freddie has come under the national spotlight making headlines in national papers and appearances on BBC Breakfast and Good Morning.
Speaking about his challenge and the generosity of people, Freddie said: "When I found out about Hughie being diagnosed, I just felt like I needed to do something to help him get through it because it's a really hard thing that he has to do. The support we have had is amazing and I can't thank everyone enough for sharing our story and donating. The BBC Breakfast team especially have been incredible to us and I can't say thank you enough to them all."
He added: "Hughie is incredible, he is so brave and he inspires me every day. I've got my final 2km run on Christmas Day which will mean I have completed the 100km challenge. At the minute we have raised over £50,000 without gift aid which is something we never even dreamed of, it's amazing and it will really help to make a different to so many brave families at RMCH, I'm just so happy I could do something that can help Hughie and so many others, it's a really special feeling."
Hughie described his friend as "amazing". He went on to say: "He's just such an influence to other people, just so amazing and I couldn't thank him anymore.'
Hughie's mum, Katy added: "He's an absolute star, he's been running when it's been dark, cold and after he's been playing football, so he's amazing, a little superstar!"
Freddie's mum, Sarah, praised Hughie for his resilience and said her son had simply wanted to do something to "support" his best friend.
She added: "We are so proud of everything Freddie and Hughie have achieved, they're both incredible boys with big hearts. The support they have had has been phenomenal, they have had donations from all around the world with many amazing messages of support which we are all so grateful for. RMCH Charity help so many families going through the worst times and the boys are going to help to make their lives a bit easier which is an amazing thing to be able to do.
Anyone wishing to support Freddie's fundraising mission is asked to click here