Boroughbridge well and truly got behind two of its residents taking on the mammoth challenge of running 100 miles in 24 hours.
Raising well over £4,000 for two causes very close to their hearts, Chris Sills and Andy Sherif were spurred on by a remarkable display of community spirit, as residents clapped, cheered, and made the fundraising total soar - with many even running laps with them.
Chris’s four-year-old daughter Mabel has nephrocalcinosis, a condition which affects her kidneys and bowels. She has had 19 operations to date, and her kidneys have been packed with stones - Mabel is also tube-fed, and realising that the tube is a vital lifeline for her, she even fondly calls it her 'tubie.'
To thank and give back to the team at Leeds Children’s Hospital, who have supported Mabel throughout, the Sills, and family friend Andy, have been doing a whole series of fundraising events.
Managing to complete a remarkable 65 miles of the 100 miles target, forced to stop due to injuries, Chris said this was the least they could do for the hospital, which he said has saved Mabel’s life.
He said: “Without the children’s hospital, Mabel would probably not be here today. They have supported us right from the start, and no amount of money will ever pay back what they have done for us. Giving money doesn’t seem enough, we are indebted to them.”
Chris and Andy also raised money for Team Endeavour, which supports children and families of the Armed Forces. The charity helped to secure a specialist medical bed for Mabel at home.
Boroughbridge Fire Station threw open its doors to welcome the pair as they ran the 65 miles on August 19, using it as a base to freshen up as they did circuits of the area.
The Ripon Runners turned out in force to run alongside them and show their support as a club. Local businesses, including The Anchor Inn, also backed Chris and Andy’s efforts. The landlord invited them to run through the pub with a welcoming crowd of regulars, generously adding to their total for the charities.
Chris said: "When we ran through the High Street, we had people waving out of their windows. When someone is there to give you that support, it's a distraction from thinking that your legs hurt.
"It is when you're on your own that your mind starts going, can I do this? When we told people what we were doing it for, a lot of them said what a great cause it was, and said remember that you are doing this for Mabel, for all the things she is going through.
"The support we had was a real boost, people really got on board with the story. Doing this was nothing compared to what Mabel is going through, which is why we did as much as we could to carry on, it really spurs you on.
"I think this is a lifelong relationship that we have with the charities now, after everything they have done for Mabel."
Chris's proud wife Sara said: "I am so very proud of Chris and how he is always trying to push himself to help others - he is always thinking of ways to support others and raise money to give children like our little Mabel, whose life has become hospital, a better chance.
"This is about helping others and giving something back to the people who every day help to keep our little girl alive. Chris and Andy should be so very proud of what they have done."
To add to Chris and Andy's total for the charities, text Team07 and the amount you would like to pledge to 70070, to donate to Team Endeavour.
To donate to the Leeds Children's Hospital, text better to 88833, to donate £2.
Mabel's trip to Disneyland with the Make-a-Wish Foundation
Mabel went to Disneyland with her family the week before the challenge, thanks to the Make-a-Wish-Foundation, which gives seriously ill children the chance to create special memories and have unforgettable experiences.
Chris said: "We had a fabulous time, they did a great job for Mabel - it was really special. She got to meet all the characters, and Make-a-Wish arranged for a special one to one meeting with Tinkerbell.
"It created some beautiful memories."