Jack's giant gesture for Demelza

24 November 2016
Sporting schoolboy Jack Hills has handed over almost £1,500 to the children’s charity which cared for his dying cousin.

Jack, from Platts Heath, decided he would set himself a challenge – to raise £500 in a triathlon of swimming, cycling and running.

The challenge was in memory of his cousin Jessica Humphrey, who was helped by Demelza Hospice Care for Children for three years prior to her death in 2013.

Eight year old Jack, who visited his cousin several times at the Sittingbourne hospice, said: “That’s when I learnt what a wonderful place it is.”

“I saw the lovely people who work there care for Jessica and all the other children and I think they are awesome! They have some cool toys and a great music room too. Jessica loved her music therapy.”

“I have decided that I would like to raise some money for Demelza to say thank you.”

Jack, who loves all kinds of sport, set about getting sponsors and completed the triathlon – a 200 metre swim, 6K cycle ride and 3.3K run – at Maidstone’s Mote Park and Leisure Centre on 19 November, netting £1,429.75 - almost three times his target!

Jack set about training when he went back to Egerton Church of England Primary School in September and completed his self-imposed challenge, accompanied by dad Chris, in 1 hour 23 minutes and 27 seconds.

Jessica’s sisters Amy and Emily held the red tape at the finishing line as Jack roared home.

“I would have been quicker, but dad slowed me down!” said a mischievous Jack.
Dad has a chance to redeem himself in 2017 however, when he takes part in Demelza’s 101 challenge - http://bit.ly/2fRvgAY , a triathlon challenge set in the picturesque Lakeland fells in May.

Jack was presented with a trophy by staff at Demelza to mark his achievement when he visited with mum Sarah and proud grandparents Janet and David Humphrey from Lenham.

Events co-ordinator Emma Cox said: “We were delighted to hear about Jack’s challenge. It was so thoughtful of him and he raised an incredible amount to help fund the work we do in caring for children with life-limiting and life-threatening conditions.”

More than 90 people supported Jack via his Just Giving page, including the school lollipop lady.

His mum Sarah said: “We are very grateful to everyone who supported him in raising this great amount which we were delighted to hand over to Demelza.”
To sponsor Jack, visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Jack-Hills1

If Jack's story has inspired YOU to raise money for Demelza, contact our fundraising team on 01795 845249