Leyburn dad plans Three Peaks challenge after daughter’s leukaemia diagnosis

Ian Clarkson will attempt the Three Peaks twice in one go.

A Leyburn dad is preparing to walk up the Yorkshire Three Peaks twice in one go to raise money for the charities which helped when his baby daughter was diagnosed with leukaemia.

The Yorkshire Three Peaks challenge usually sees walkers aiming to complete the route within 12 hours.

But Ian is hoping to complete two laps of the peaks, totaling 49 miles, in less than 16 hours this summer.

Ian is a keen runner and has taken on other challenges including the Great North Run previously, however this will be his first time tackling the Three Peaks.

Ian is taking on this epic challenge to raise money for two charities close to his heart, CLIC Sargent and children’s cancer charity Candlelighters.

In 2018, after months of visits to the doctors, Ian and wife Tanya’s baby daughter Emily was diagnosed with infant acute lymphoblastic leukaemia. She was aged just nine months.

Since then she has been undergoing treatment at the Leeds Children’s Hospital.

It has been an extremely difficult time for Ian and his family, trying to ensure the best care for Emily and her older brother Oliver while travelling between Leyburn and Leeds.

Ian and Tanya Clarkson with Emily and son Oliver.

Thankfully, Emily has been responding very well to treatment and is making good progress.

Ian will be taking on this challenge on July 24 as this will mark exactly one year since Emily’s diagnosis.

Ian said: “Since Emily’s diagnosis we have received so much support from both Candlelighters and CLIC Sargent I really felt I needed to give something back.

“My initial thought was to do the Great North Run, but I decided I wanted to do something different.

“I am really looking forward to the challenge and hope to raise a great amount of money for both charities.

“I understand not everyone will be able to sponsor me financially, but for those who can’t, we would ask you to look in to blood, platelets and bone marrow donation.

“Since her diagnosis, Emily has needed several blood and platelet transfusions.

“There was a time when we weren’t sure if Emily would need a bone marrow transplant but happily it has been confirmed that she will not.

“I would like to raise awareness for blood and bone marrow donation. Often it just involves a simple initial test.”

Gina Trotter, community fundraiser at Candlelighters, said “Ian’s challenge sounds absolutely incredible, doing the Yorkshire Three Peaks once is a brilliant achievement but doing it twice is amazing.

“The money and awareness raised through Ian’s challenge will make a huge difference to the children and families across Yorkshire who are affected by childhood cancer and we are so grateful to Ian for all his hard work”

If you would like to support Ian’s challenge you can visit his fundraising page here.

If you would like more information on how to donate blood, platelets and bone marrow, visit www.nhsbt.nhs.net.