Fareham girl, 12, paddle boards to Gosport from Isle of Wight in 3 hours for dad’s brain tumour fund
A TENACIOUS 12-year-old has successfully paddle boarded almost five miles across the Solent in a bid to raise thousands of pounds for life-prolonging treatment for her dad.
Setting off from the Isle of Wight this morning at 10.45am, Fareham school pupil Seren Killpartrick ran up the beach at Stokes Bay in Gosport at around 2pm to hug dad Paul after making it safely back to dry land.
Seren told The News: ‘I’m so excited to have completed it as I did it for my dad.
‘Surprisingly it wasn’t challenging - I didn’t even think about the struggle.’
The fundraising paddleboard challenge is part of a bid to raise £100,000 to pay for brain tumour treatment for Paul, a Royal Navy engineer.
Funds will go towards specialist proton beam therapy, which is not offered on the NHS.
Mum Rhian said: ‘Seeing her paddleboard across the Solent was like watching her dreams come true.
‘She’s like a local celebrity with lots of people congratulating her and wishing her well.
‘I’m relieved that she’s back on dry land - there was no way in this world I could have stopped her.’
Paul added: ‘It’s a glorious day at the seaside, and I’m a very proud dad.
‘I knew she was going to do it - nothing was going to stop her, she’s a determined young lady. I had full faith in her.’
Seren made the 4.9 mile journey accompanied by family friends.
Rhian added: ‘I’m so proud - watching her lead the flotilla of paddleboards had me in tears.
‘It’s been a phenomenal day with friends, family and others going out of the way to support us.
‘Paul Cutler, Lee Redford, Connor May, Jason Allen - we’re so lucky to have them in our lives. This group of guys got together and made it happen for her.
‘They’ve gone above and beyond to help my daughter. But there’s lots more people - too many to mention, and we’re grateful.
‘I thought they might raise a couple of thousand - but the Navy family has honestly come together and supported us, through donations and well wishing. We walk amongst amazing people.’
A big barbeque event will be held this evening to celebrate Seren’s achievement.
So far, the family has raised £98,732.
Seren said: ‘I’m really shocked - I never thought it would be so much.’
To donate visit justgiving.com/crowdfunding/serenshope