Bedford PE teacher takes on 7 marathons in 7 days inspired by little boy’s battle with a rare cancer

Brave little Finn was diagnosed with the cancer at just 16 months old

Friday, 28th May 2021, 5:42 pm
Updated Wednesday, 2nd June 2021, 4:28 pm

A PE teacher from Bedford is set to tackle seven marathons in seven days - inspired by a little boy’s battle with a rare form of cancer.

Mike Evans, a teacher at Biddenham International School, is taking on the challenge to raise money and awareness for Children With Cancer UK through Finnley’s Warriors.

Finnley’s Warriors was set up to raise money for brave little Finn Neely-Hayes, who was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive form of cancer called Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma in 2017 at just 16 months old.

Mike and Finn

Only 10 children are diagnosed with this rare cancer each year.

But after numerous rounds of intensive treatments and chemotherapies, Finn is now in remission.

As a thank you, Finnley’s Warriors have continued to raise money for the charity that helped save his life.

So far, they have raised an astonishing £220,000.

Mike, a friend of Finn’s family, said: “Not all kids and families are as fortunate as Finn and lose their battle with cancer at such a young age with so much to live for.

“This is down to the lack of funding available to childhood cancers and the treatments available which some have not changed for 50 years and those that are in place are adult protocols used on kids and not specific to them, which is needed.

“So when I was planning ahead for 2021 and thinking of something to do, it needed to be bigger and bolder than anything I’ve done before, and a true challenge to emulate what these little warriors and their families go through every day.

“A challenge to raise awareness and money so hopefully one day no one has to go through what these children and their families battle through.”

He will be setting off on his first marathon on Sunday, May 30, with the last on Saturday, June 5. The first three will take place in Devon, with the last four in Bedford.

Mum Ali said: “I'm immensely proud of how far Finnley's Warriors has come since 2017. We have had some many people do so many amazing things.

“Mike has embraced everything we're trying to achieve in raising awareness for childhood cancer and raising money for vital improvements in treatment.

“It's so important to us that we give back into a system that helped save Finnley's life - something good must come from his diagnosis.

“Mike doing this challenge epitomises what kind of person he is - selfless, enthusiastic and inspirational, and we can't wait to support him every step of the way."

If you would like to support Mike on his challenge, visit his JustGiving page.