THREE schoolboys whose lives have been affected by cancer are donning their onesies for a 10 kilometre run to raise £500 for charity.
Gabriel Mitchell, Ally Mitchell (no relation) and Paul Robinson-Tillyer, who are all aged 12, will set off from The Perch pub in Binsey Lane, Oxford, at 6pm today and run to Wolvercote.
The three friends organised the run themselves and set up a JustGiving page to raise donations. By yesterday, they had raised £467, just £33 short of their target.
Gabriel’s mum Amanda Whiting, who lives in Cumnor, said they were inspired to raise the money after a number of close family friends and relatives died from cancer in recent months.
She said: “They’ve become very aware of cancer rece-ntly but they’re also at the age where they think it can be beaten in their lifetimes, so Cancer Research seemed like the perfect charity to raise money for.
“They decided to wear onesies to stand out from other charity runs, but that’s also why they’re running in the evening because it would just be too hot during the day.”
A friend of Gabriel’s family is ill with pancreatic cancer and his aunt recently died from cancer.
He said he wanted to find a fun way to raise money for a good cause and decided the onesie run was the perfect way to do it.
He said: “We all love running and we all love our onesies so it seemed like a good way to raise awareness and get sponsorship.
“I hope someday nobody will die from cancer any more and I hope the money we raise for Cancer Research UK will help find a cure.”
Paul, who lives in Binsey Lane and attends Matthew Arnold School with Gabriel, said he was taking part in the run to raise money in his uncle’s memory.
He said: “My uncle died recently and he was just 62 years old.
“He had only retired from work for three months when he was diagnosed with lung cancer and he died within three weeks.”
Ms Whiting said: “I think young people today are more aware about cancer than before and because people talk about it more they all have friends who have lost a parent to it. It’s great to see how much fundraising goes on but the boys know there’s never enough money to go around all the charities so they wanted to play their part and help out.”
Ally’s grandmother Morag Kenzie passed away from cancer on May 9.
The Cherwell pupil’s mother Juliet Sargeant, who lives in Barrett Street, said: “They’ve been out training in evenings and weekends for four weeks now to get themselves fit.
“They like running so it’s not a chore but I think it’s great to see three 12-year-old boys do something so selfless.
“I don’t think they ever imagined they would hit their £500 target so it’s brilliant to see them get so close.
“I am very proud of them all.”
To donate to the boys’ ‘Twilight Onesie 10K’ visit justgiving.com/paulandgabrielscharityaccount
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