BRAVE six-year-old Charlie Harris is battling a rare form of leukaemia – but still lives each day with a huge smile on his face.
Now the Portsmouth boy’s family and friends plan to do something special to help him and other sick children living with the condition.
If the money we raise can help other families, that would be great. It’s a horrible condition, and it’s been a massive strain on everyone.Marie Harris
Around 20 fundraisers will take up a 20-mile trek around Hampshire, starting from Winchester Cathedral, to raise cash for the Children’s Cancer and Leukaemia Group.
The ‘Charlie Says’ challenge will see Charlie use an app on a mobile phone from either his home in Hilsea or from hospital to track the walkers – and call them every hour to tell them where they should head to next.
Charlie was diagnosed with T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukaemia, a rare form of cancer that affects 200 people a year, in 2014 after overcoming a bad strain of chicken pox.
Charlie’s mum Marie Harris, who is taking part, said: ‘I’m doing this because I’ve seen him go through so much, he has been through an amazing amount of stuff for a little boy.
‘He will be monitored for the rest of his life.
‘If the money we raise can help other families, that would be great.
‘It’s a horrible condition, and it’s been a massive strain on everyone. It’s no walk in the park at all.’
Charlie has picked out the hoodies walkers will wear on their trip, which will take place over 12 hours from 7am to 7pm on April 3.
The group plan to end up at the Brewery Bar, in Botley.
Marie said: ‘It’s pretty tough for Charlie at the moment.
‘He has had other medical conditions on top of his leukaemia. But he is a tough character.’
Petersfield worker Scott Simper was inspired to sign up for the walk after meeting Charlie at the end of a charity walk he did from Manchester United’s Old Trafford ground to Southampton’s St Mary’s Stadium.
Scott said: ‘I thought about the idea of Charlie Says and how it would nice for him to tell us what to do to help.
‘He has had a pretty tough time.
‘As long as he is smiling, he is distracted from what is going on.
‘It’s nice to give a kid a focus and a distraction.’