Firefighters run from Newcastle to Leicester to raise money for Sunderland boy, 8 with neuroblastoma

Credit - Run for Oliver Newcastle to Leicester
Oliver completed the final leg of the run with his twin brothers Oscar and Owen, alongside crew from Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue. Colleagues from the Leicester fire service had also joined the team for the final leg of the run. Credit: Run for Oliver Newcastle to Leicester

A team for firefighters from Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service (TWFRS) has run from Newcastle to Leicester in to raise money for an eight-year-old's cancer treatment.

Thirteen men completed more than 200 miles for Oliver Maw from Sunderland who has neuroblastoma, which is a rare form of cancer.

The aim was to raise funds for Oliver, who was diagnosed in 2021, to get a vaccine abroad.

It is hoped this could help reduce the risk of Oliver's cancer returning in the future, as the condition is known to have a high relapse rate.

The team of firefighters set off on Friday 31 March from Newcastle's Royal Victoria Infirmary, where Oliver is receiving treatment, and arrived 31 hours later in Leicester.

Peter Wilson, Oliver's uncle and fireman in the service did not take part in the relay run but said: "I am absolutely over the moon by success the of it. It was a great weekend.

"To be honest I am completely bowled over and honestly proud and humbled by it all."

He added: "Oliver had a great weekend, and the whole team in Leicester made him and his brothers feel so welcome."

Triplet Oliver completed the final part of the run with his brothers Oscar and Owen on Saturday 1 April. Colleagues from the Leicester fire service had also joined the team for the final leg.

Brendan McMillan was one of the those who completed the challenge and crosse the finish line with the Maw triplets.

He told ITV Tyne Tees that the challenge was "really good."

He said:" It was really good to actually get the baton moving and the weather was pretty kind to us so that helped."

Despite having run during the endurance challenge Mr McMillan was back at work on Monday 3 April and said: "I'm a little tired, it just feels like jetlag, but the pain was 100% worth it."

The challenge was borne following the firefighters sports tournament in Newcastle last year.

Mr Wilson made a speech at the event and after the Leicester firefighters heard of Oliver's situation decided to raise money for him.

They ran from Leicester to Newcastle in 30 hours, raising £14,000 and challenged their colleagues from TWFRS to match their feat in reverse.

Combined, the runs raised over £30,000 to go towards Oliver's treatment. More events are already being planned to help reach the £260,000 target needed.

Mr Wilson's team, Sunderland Central Green Watch, are planning to complete the three peaks challenge in June.

According to Mr Wilson, Oliver is doing "really well" at the moment and is due to finish NHS treatment in July. He will then hopefully go on to get his treatment in America.

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know.