Childhood cancer survivors play ‘virtual football’ for The 2.6 Challenge

Friends and childhood cancer survivors Sam Sharland and Luke Everett took part in The 2.6 Challenge this week, raising over £100 for Children with Cancer UK, the leading national charity dedicated to research into childhood cancer.

1 May 2020

Sam Sharland and Luke Everett

Sam Sharland and Luke Everett (both 12) played a game of ‘Virtual Football’ completing 26 virtual passes over video. They filmed themselves passing the ball to each other 26 times. The boys were taking part in The 2.6 Challenge a fundraising event which is calling for fundraisers to take part in an activity based around the numbers 26 or 2.6. The challenge is a national initiative from UK charities, to help raise funds during the COVID-19 crisis.

Sam, from Woking, was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia aged five and finished over three years’ of treatment in 2017. Similarly, Luke (from Camberly) was diagnosed with hepatoblastoma, a rare liver cancer, at just six months old. He is now 11 years in remission. The boys became friends after their mothers, Tasmin and Claire, started taking part in runs together in order to raise money for Children with Cancer UK.

Tasmin and Claire were planning to run the London Marathon on Sunday 26 April, however the event was postponed until October due to COVID-19. Their sons decided to take part in their own fundraising activity after they heard that the marathon was being delayed.

Sam said:

I wanted to do the challenge to help Children with Cancer UK after all they have done for us. My mum and Luke’s mum were training hard for the London Marathon so I am pleased that we have been able to raise money even though our mums will have to wait until they can do their own challenge!

After completing his part of the challenge, Luke commented:

I really enjoyed this challenge – it was fun! I did it with my friend and we have supported an amazing charity at the same time. It’s hard not being able to see my friends at the moment, so I was very excited to be able to do this.

Children with Cancer CEO Mark Brider said:

I would like to thank Sam and Luke for taking part in the challenge and helping to raise much needed funds for the fight against childhood cancer. Unfortunately big events such as the London Marathon are postponed, but people can still play their part in tackling childhood cancer through fundraising initiatives such as The 2.6 Challenge.

Children with Cancer UK is calling for fundraisers to take part in The 2.6 challenge in order to raise money for childhood cancer research. For more information, and to take part in your own 2.6 Challenge, click here.

Editors’ Notes

Children with Cancer UK’s press office

E: media@childrenwithcancer.org.uk

T: 0207 404 0808 M: 07 795 956 342

About Children with Cancer UK

Children with Cancer UK is the leading national charity dedicated to research into childhood cancer.

We fund research into the causes and treatment of childhood cancers and provide support for families affected by childhood cancer. We have accelerated breakthroughs to improve childhood cancer survival rates and find kinder, more effective treatments with fewer toxic side effects. This ground-breaking research, which would otherwise go unfunded, saves the lives of children with cancer.  Children with Cancer UK receives no government funding and relies entirely on the generosity of donations from supporters.

About childhood cancer and Children with Cancer UK’s impact

Every day in the UK, 12 children and young people are diagnosed with cancer.

Fifty years ago, only 30% of children with leukaemia survived, and for most other forms of childhood cancer survival rates were even lower. Today, thanks to our supporters and the dedication of visionary researchers like those we fund, more than 80% of young patients can be successfully treated. More vital research is needed though as there are still a number of cancers affecting children and young people with low survival rates and life-limiting side effects. Cancer remains the single largest cause of death from disease in children and young people in the UK.

SAM boy in orange football top.