Belfast Telegraph

The walking wonderkid going that extra mile to help win war on cancer

By Claire Graham

He's just 11 years old and already trying to cure cancer.

Inspired by the loss of his grandmother Lyn in 2009, Jonjo Heuerman has been a boy on a mission to raise cash and awareness. He has already raised £105,000 for Cancer Research UK through a series of walks.

And now his crusade brings him to Northern Ireland where he will walk from Laurencetown in Co Down to Belfast over three days.

Lyn died at the age of 60 in 2009, a sad loss that prompted the Kent schoolboy to fight back against the disease.

He was also inspired by cancer deaths on his mother's Belfast side of the family. Mum Donna watched two grandparents – Eva Lawell and Danny Blong – die from bowel cancer in 2005 and 2009, which is why he is bringing his fundraising efforts to her native Northern Ireland.

After the death of his grandmother, Jonjo told his mum: "I'd like to walk for nanny."

One step at a time, the extraordinary young boy has raised over £105,000 in funds for Cancer Research UK through a series of walks and high-profile events. He has also impressed celebrity backers such as footballers Rio Ferdinand and Steven Gerrard.

In February he took on 66 miles over six days in England, all to support the charity.

His latest challenge begins today when he embarks on a 25-mile walk over three days. This route will take him from his great grandfather's resting place in Laurencetown to his great grandmother's resting place in Milltown Cemetery, west Belfast.

Jonjo, from Dartford, is a passionate football fan and fearlessly addressed a crowd of 36,000 at West Ham United football stadium as part of his fundraising efforts.

He has also lobbied peers in the House of Lords and even the Prime Minister in Downing Street.

The schoolboy said he was inspired by the death of his footballing hero Bobby Moore from bowel cancer.

The Bobby Moore fund teamed up with Cancer Research UK in 1993.

"Nanny liked me playing football and always gave me a pound if I scored a goal," he said.

Jonjo and his proud mum arrived in Belfast yesterday and the young fundraiser can't wait to hit the road.

He said he is walking in memory of his great grandparents, his nanny and "lots of other cancer angels".

The youngster will wear a special T-shirt with names of people who have lost their lives to the illness or are battling cancer.

On the final day he will carry flowers and call out their names at a memorial when he reaches the end.

"I'm so excited to get going, I can't wait to get it started," he said.

Donna added: "I believe in giving good and good will come back to you, but never in a million years did I think he would raise this amount of money."

"He loves it. We support him so much because the drive comes from within him."

Belfast Telegraph


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