Hundreds of people will join a torch-lit walk through Ecclesall Woods in the autumn for Weston Park Hospital Cancer Charity - and among them will be nine-year-old Ben Jones.
The High Green youngster is one of the first people to sign up to the charity’s third annual Light the Night event, on Saturday, October 4.
Like many, he has a personal reason for joining the 4.5km walk. Ben was inspired by the hospital’s care for family friend, Andrew Binks.
Known to his friends as ‘Binxy’, Andrew, also from High Green, was the best friend of Ben’s uncles, Dennis and Richard Eales, known as ‘The Three Amigos’.
He was treated for oesophageal cancer and a secondary brain tumour from January 2012, sadly losing his battle in July 2012, aged 30.
Ben said: “I know my Uncle Dennis and Uncle Richard miss Andrew so, so much and I wanted to do something in his memory and support the hospital that looked after him.
“Andrew was just so much fun. He always had great jokes and made me laugh.”
Dennis, aged 33, who works in the accounts department at law firm Irwin Mitchell, is also taking part in Light the Night alongside Ben and members of Andrew’s family.
He said: “Binxy was a top lad and my best mate. He had a huge heart and was just an amazing person.
“Me and my brother went to visit him a lot in Weston Park Hospital during his treatment and I was really impressed with the care and kindness the staff showed – they were fantastic.”
Dennis added: “Ben and I did the walk two years ago, just after Binxy had died, and I was really proud of Ben when he asked if we could do it again.
“Last time Ben got quite tired and wanted a carry, but now that he is a brown belt in karate and a lot fitter than me, he might need to give me a carry!”
Ben’s mum and Dennis’ sister, Cheryl Jones, said she has been overwhelmed by how many people have got behind Ben’s fundraising.
She said: “It’s lovely to see how all his friends, teachers and my colleagues and friends have supported him and how important the cause is to them.
“I’m just so proud of him for wanting to do something to help others and for raising over £150 so far.”
Light the Night also includes live entertainment and is open to everyone, attracting a large number of families.
Last year over 600 people took part and raised over £40,000 for Weston Park Hospital Cancer Charity.
Visit: www.lightthenight; To support Ben: www.justgiving.com/Ben-Jones32.