Two best friends will be taking on a week-long 225-mile challenge in memory of a teenager who died from cystic fibrosis.
Dan Church and Andy Greening, 23, will set off from their hometown of Abingdon to cover the equivalent of eight and a half marathons from October 16 to 22.
The brave duo are undertaking the ‘seventh heaven’ challenge to raise £2,000 or more for Leah’s Wish, a local charity set up in memory of 17-year-old Leah Dionne Graham, pictured, who passed away in 2013.
During their seven-day challenge, Dan will run the length of the River Thames, from Gravesend, East London, to the source of the river in Kemble, Gloucestershire while best friend Andy will act as cycle support.
As if this wasn’t enough, the duo then plan to run the 2017 Abingdon marathon on their final and seventh day, October 22.
It will be the first time Andy has ever attempted the 26.2 mile distance.
Speaking to The Oxford Paper, Dan said he used to work with one of Leah’s elder sisters and has since completed several fundraising races for the charity.
He said: “She was also a massive inspiration for Fitzharrys School, the school I went to, as well as the whole Abingdon community and other cystic fibrosis sufferers around the country. Me and Andy have been planning this challenge since November 2016, so it will almost be a year-long process.
“The challenge means a lot, officially my last fundraiser for the foreseeable future, so I am pushing myself to the very max.
“To be able to conquer almost nine marathons in seven days is something I never thought I could do, whilst Andy’s aim is to complete his first-ever marathon.”
The charity was started by mum Selina Jeacock to increase awareness of cystic fibrosis and raise money for the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford, where Leah was treated, and the Harefield Hospital in London – the last place where she was treated.
Leah’s Wish also raises money for the charities that supported her and her family through her illness, including CF Families and Cystic Fibrosis Trust.
To donate, visit www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/sevenheaven.