An eight-year-old who travelled the distance of around the MOON for his terminally ill brother is now taking on a ‘mountain climb’ challenge in his honour after he sadly died.
Harry Byrne covered more than 13,500 miles with the help of a team of dedicated ‘moon trekkers’ for Reuben, two.
Loving Harry travelled twice the circumference of the moon for his sibling because he ”loved him to the moon and back” – raising 40K for charity.
Reuben sadly died in his sleep three months ago – with Harry sat right beside him – singing and stroking his head.
Minutes after he died Harry told his mum and dad: ‘‘I’m going to climb a mountain for Reuben”.
Harry, of Larkhill, Wilts., has now pledged to tackle the three Yorkshire Peaks in memory of his brother – the equivalent of 7,000ft.
Alongside his mum Sophie, dad Sean and baby brother Felix, Harry will scale the peaks over the three days in April.
They will raise funds for ‘Naomi’s House’ ‘Julia’s House’ ‘Sandcastle Trust’ ‘Saffa’ ‘Royal Artillery Charitable Fund’ and ‘Ronald McDonald’s House’ who all supported Reuben.
Sophie said: “The challenge feels minor in comparison to what Reuben went through – it doesn’t really feel like a challenge – but we are so proud of Harry and grateful for all the support.”
Reuben was born with a condition so rare that there is no name for it and there are only 20 cases recorded worldwide.
The condition causes brain deterioration and seizures and claimed the life of the children’s older sister Olivia, who died nine years ago aged just eight months old.
Sophie said: “We’d had a lovely last evening together.
”Reuben had been looking at all the Christmas lights, and Harry and I shared cuddles with him on the sofa while we watched a film together.
“The next morning, Sean went in to check on Reuben and he had passed away.
”Even though we knew his condition was bad, it shocked us all because he had been doing so well.
“After we told Harry, he came into Reuben’s room and immediately climbed into bed with his little brother and started singing to him and stroking his head.
“I was there looking at my boys, my heart was breaking for them.
”Tears were running down my face and I had to bite my tongue to stop myself from wailing and ruining that moment.
“After about ten minutes, Harry came off the bed, looked out of the window and said, ‘I’m going to climb a mountain for Reuben.
“He knows that Sean and I climbed the three national peaks in his sister Olivia’s memory, and he really wanted to do something positive like that for Reu Reu too.”
“We’ve had extremely tough days following Reuben’s passing and Harry has astonished us with his strength.
“When we said our last good byes, Harry drew a picture of Reuben smiling, and told us: ‘We’re sad but Reuben is happy because he’s free.’
They will scale peaks of Pen-y-ghent (2,227 ft), Whernside (2415 ft) and Ingleborough (2,372ft).
Julia’s House sibling worker, Tracey Griffin, continues to visit Harry at home regularly.
She said: “Harry is an incredibly caring young person and you can’t fail to be inspired by his energy and compassion for other people.”
Last year, with the help of his friends and the community, Harry completed a ‘Race Around the Moon’ distance challenge and a hospice to hospice hike.
You can sponsor Harry on his mission here: https://justgiving.com/team/Mountaintrekkes