A group of philanthropic former pupils of a Chester high school undertook not one but two hardcore physical challenges at the weekend to raise money for Alder Hey Children’s Hospital after learning the daughter of one of their favourite teachers had leukaemia.
Danny Piggott, 19, Matt McCann, 19, Brad Stanley, 19, Callum Bowness, 20, Elliot Pryce, 19, Peter Boxall, 19, Daryl Ruane, 19, and Alex Pryce, 22, were devastated when they heard of the plight of three-year-old Erin Cross, whose father Antony Cross is head of design technology at Bishops’ Blue Coat CE High School in Great Boughton.
They completed Tough Mudder, a 12-mile obstacle course designed by the Special Forces to test stamina and mental grit, on Saturday (October 5).
The boys, who call themeslves Erin’s Army, completed the gruelling assault course, in which they endured electric shocks and ice baths, in two hours.
They couldn’t put their feet up for long though as they ran the 26-mile race the next day (Sunday, October 6), finishing it in five hours, 30 minutes.
They have so far raised £1,460 for Alder Hey’s oncology department.
Danny said: “Mr Cross was a DT and form teacher to all of us at some point and he helped us a lot.
“We wanted to raise money in some way and decided to take it one step further and do both Tough Mudder and the marathon.
“Tough Mudder was definitely harder on our bodies than the marathon. It required real teamwork and determination.
“It has been a pleasure to raise money for Erin and others like her.”
Erin suffers from acute lymphoblastic leukaemia, a cancer of the white blood cells and has to have chemotherapy every day.
Erin’s mum Sarah said: “Antony and I were extremely emotional when we first heard what the students wanted to do to support Erin.
“We have supported them all the way helping to promote their fundraising, and we were there on the day of the marathon to celebrate with them at the finish line and take them for a much needed beer!”
This isn’t the first fundraising event done in the toddler’s name, with deputy headteacher Peter Coates raising £2,000 by running the Chester Half Marathon earlier in the year.
To donate, visit www.justgiving.com/ErinsArmy.