A seven-year-old is raising money for his seriously ill little brother by walking, running and cycling 6786 miles – the distance around the MOON.
Harry Byrne will travel the circumference of the Earth’s satellite for sibling Reuben, two, because he ”loves him to the moon and back”.
Reuben was born with a condition that causes his brain to deteriorate and so rare it doesn’t have a name yet – and there are fewer than 20 recorded cases worldwide.
Brother Harry has decided to venture afar with his fundraising – and has got his sights set on space.
Family, friends and other fellow ‘moon trekkers’, will help Harry, from Larkhill, Wilts., complete the 6786-mile distance around the moon in just three months.
Harry hopes his challenge will raise £4,000 for Julia’s House children’s hospice and Naomi House & Jacksplace to help provide vital care for seriously ill children.
“We’re beyond proud of Harry,” says Mum Sophie, 29. “He has such a special bond with Reuben.
”He’ll put his arms out wide and tell him, ‘I love you around the moon and back,’ and Reuben will always give Harry his biggest smiles.
”Reuben has hugely complex needs and needs round-the-clock care from someone who’s trained to look after him,.
“It can be incredibly tiring for us. So when the Julia’s House nurses come into our home to give us those respite care breaks, it means we can switch off a little, and have peace of mind that Reuben’s in safe and loving hands.”
She added: “Reuben can have up to 10 seizures a day and it’s scary because it’s always in the back of your mind – is this one the last?
“He had one outside the school gates recently and Harry rushed straight away to get his brother’s oxygen for me. He stroked his head and was telling him, “It’s okay Reu Reu, it’s okay.”
“He’s just amazing with him and they’re both so brave. I think that’s what’s going to break our hearts the most when Reuben does pass away because they love each other so much.”
“Harry wants to take Reuben out in his buggy for as many moon miles as he can. It’s like the Winnie the Pooh quote: they don’t realise they’re making memories together – they just know they’re having fun.”
Harry’s ‘A race around the moon’ challenge started on July 31 and will last for three months. Already, the youngster has gained support from more than 300 people who have joined his Facebook group, with many pledging miles and donations for the local children’s hospices.
Nicky Clack, Fundraising Administrator for Julia’s House, said: “Harry’s an incredible big brother and he’s been an absolute star this year in raising funds and awareness for Julia’s House children’s hospice.
“He’s making a huge difference at such a young age for so many local children and families who depend on our care. We’d like to say a huge thank you to Harry for racing around the moon, and bon voyage on his cosmic adventure!”