A team of charity runners will run the length of the country’s longest canal in aid of a two-year-old leukaemia sufferer from Accrington.
The runners, including little Edie Birtwistle’s mum and family members, aim to complete the 127-mile relay run along the canal towpath from Liverpool to Leeds within 24 hours.
The unusual challenge begins at Stanley Dock, Liverpool, at 12pm on Saturday June 26, finishing at Granary Wharf, Leeds, the following lunchtime.
It will raise money for the Children with Leukemia fund, inspired by Edie, daughter of Joanne and Lee.
Edie’s uncle Adam Lowe is organising the event and he aims to cycle along the canal all the way to support the runners and collect donations.
The historic canal celebrates its 200th birthday this weekend. Our very own Clayton-le-Moors marks the halfway point, while the runners have strong links to both cities.
Relatives taking part include Edie’s mum Joanne, her aunt Sue and cousins Beth and Hannah.
On the way the runners will pass some famous landmarks, including the Canal Turn at Aintree, Wigan Pier, the Burnley Enbankment, Foulridge Tunnel, Skipton Wharf and the Five Rise Locks at Bingley.
Edie, of Entwistle Road, was diagnosed with leukemia last March and after undergoing a year’s intensive chemotherapy treatment, is now having weekly bouts of ‘maintenance’ radiotherapy.
She is three in October, has just started at West End play group in Oswaldtwistle and has a brother Alexander, five.
Joanne said: "She is clear of leukemia cells at the moment but the chemotherapy is constantly keeping them at bay.
"Her hair has just started to grow back a couple of months ago.
"She is a lot better than she was but her immunity is a lot lower than mine or yours so we have to be careful with her if she has a temperature or anything.
"She is full of life and a very happy and funny child and loves playing in water and loves animals to bits, especially our two cats."
Joanne is hoping to cover the leg between Blackburn and Clayton-le-Moors and will be running after 11pm so has invested in a head torch to negotiate the dark towpaths.
She added: "My brother Adam is quite fit and came up with the challenge.
"A lot of the guys involved are people that he knows from football. He does mountain marathons and a lot of fell running.
"His wife is doing some of the run and his two daughters are also doing some. There’s over 10 of us getting together."
For more information visit the fundraising webpage http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/team/liverpoolleeds24hour