A DAD is bidding to run 100 miles in a day to help a boy who has been diagnosed with brain cancer.
Andy Pittman is a seasoned runner, having run 43 marathons over the past four years.
But his latest challenge will test him to the very limits of his strength and endurance.
The 40-year-old dad-of-one wanted to do something big after being bowled over by the bravery of five-year-old Oscar Kerley, who is a friend of the family.
Oscar, who lives in Cosham, was struck down with cancer in August last year, shortly before he was due to return to his second year at school.
He was diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumour and has endured many months of radiotherapy and chemotherapy.
But his determined spirit has impressed all around him.
Andy, who works in finance and lives in Coronation Road, Waterlooville, said: ‘I have a little girl who is eight years old and I would run round the world twice for her.
‘When you have children and they are so young, you just see how brave this little chap is. He lost his hair through the treatment and operations. ‘Every time he gets a treatment he gets a bead. He’s now got loads of these beads. Just to see how poorly he was so quickly and then seeing him back on the road to recovery, it touches your heart.’
Andy will be starting his 100-mile run at 8am on Saturday. He hopes to complete it within 24 hours, but is giving himself 36 hours as a back-up plan. The challenge takes place at Samphire Hoe, a nature reserve near Dover.
Andy will be aiming to do 27 laps of the course, cheered on by his partner, Sophie Cresswell, who will be joining him for part of the race.
He said: ‘It’s going to be a lot of eating and drinking.’
Andy even gave up caffeine for the past three months with the aim of getting a major boost when he has coffee again on the day of the run.
He added: ‘I’m going to have to consume 10,000 calories through the 24 hours. The plan is not to stop.’
Every mile has been sponsored by people from across the area and Andy hopes to raise £1,500. The money will help to pay for travel costs to Southampton General Hospital and also tuition fees as Oscar has missed a lot of school.
To find out more visit crowdfunding.justgiving.com/OscarsArmy