Carrickfergus firefighters to don full fire kit for 10k run in support of Ollie's Army

Firefighters from Carrickfergus Fire Station will be taking on a 10k run with a twist in support of a local schoolboy who is currently going through treatment for leukaemia.
Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

The four-strong team will tackle the ‘Storming the Castle’ road race this summer - all while wearing their fire kit.

The mammoth challenge is in support of the family of six-year-old Ollie Willis.

Ollie's family initially took him to A&E last month after noticing he had developed a lot of harsh looking bruises.

Ollie's dad, Justin with firefighters showing their support for 'Ollie's Army'.  A group from Carrickfergus Fire Station will tackle the ‘Storming the Castle’ road race this summer - all while wearing their fire kit.Ollie's dad, Justin with firefighters showing their support for 'Ollie's Army'.  A group from Carrickfergus Fire Station will tackle the ‘Storming the Castle’ road race this summer - all while wearing their fire kit.
Ollie's dad, Justin with firefighters showing their support for 'Ollie's Army'. A group from Carrickfergus Fire Station will tackle the ‘Storming the Castle’ road race this summer - all while wearing their fire kit.

Following a series of blood tests and scans, it confirmed that Ollie had Acute Myeloid Leukaemia (AML), a rare form of the blood cancer.

His family were told Ollie would need intensive chemotherapy straightaway for the next 6-9 months.

The youngster was admitted to the Royal Children's Hospital at the end of May and received a platelet transfusion immediately.

He later underwent a bone marrow biopsy, a lumbar puncture, and had a central line fitted in his chest to administer chemotherapy.

The challenge is all in support of the family of six-year-old Ollie Willis (pictured).The challenge is all in support of the family of six-year-old Ollie Willis (pictured).
The challenge is all in support of the family of six-year-old Ollie Willis (pictured).

The brave six-year-old has had two rounds of chemotherapy so far, with his family noting: "Ollie is still feeling fit and well. He is still his usual cheeky chappy self. He is coping so well so far. His appetite comes and goes but he can still manage to inhale a cheesy chip from the chippy. Long may it continue."

The firefighters' 10k run was organised as part of a larger community effort, dubbed Ollie's Army.

Taking part in the race are Jeanna Robb, Andy Doey, Gary Scott and Cheryl Brownlee.

And while the addition of the firefighter's uniform will no doubt pose an extra challenge, the team are glad to do what they can to help, Cheryl said. "The kit is heavy and serves its purpose to protect us from extreme heat; however, it also keeps body heat in so this will be extremely intense, particularly if it’s a warm day," she added.

Ollie with his mum, Charlotte Manning.Ollie with his mum, Charlotte Manning.
Ollie with his mum, Charlotte Manning.

"We all felt it was important to do something to help Ollie and his family during this time, and wanted to do something challenging to help raise as much money as possible to help make this difficult time a little bit easier."

Storming the Castle will take place on Sunday, August 20.

To donate towards the team's fundraising efforts, visit https://gofund.me/d6b80489