Fighter Freddy takes on bucket challenge

IS this Britain’s most heart-warming ice bucket challenge to date?

Five-year-old Freddy Barker, who is battling an aggressive form of cancer, was desperate to join the charity craze sweeping the globe.

Brave Freddy Barker with proud mum Jayne Barker.

Brave Freddy Barker with proud mum Jayne Barker.

But his medical treatment prevented him from taking part so his parents improvised – and the warm water challenge was born!

All the cash raised by Freddy will now be donated to CHICS, a children’s cancer support group at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital where the Haydock youngster is being treated for acute lymphoblastic leukaemia.

His mum, Jayne, 37, of Laurel Road, Haydock, said: “His big brother, Callum, 16, was nominated to do the real ice bucket challenge and he had selected family members.

“Freddy wanted to do it but we told him he could not because he had his central line. He got upset and then we decided to improvise in the bath.

“He loved it. I am immensely proud of him. He takes it all in his stride. He has so much empathy for people. He is such a star.

“Altogether six members of our family have done the ice bucket challenge – and we donated £3 each, raising £18, split between ALS, Clic Sargent, Macmillan and CHICS.”

Freddy was diagnosed with leukaemia in August 2012 after he was feeling really lethargic,

He has the highest risk level of relapsing and as a result has to undergo very aggressive chemotherapy.

Jayne added: “Freddy was absolutely shattered, which was unusual and he was covered in bruises.

“I had a gut instinct that something was wrong and we got him tested,

“He has the highest risk of relapsing and so doctors are trying to prevent that.

“With his type of leukaemia, when he relapses, it is more dangerous.

“He has a lot more chemotherapy than most other. He is on a three-year treatment plan but it could be a bit longer because he has had a few hiccups.

“He is currently on a break from the chemotherapy.

“You would not know that he was ill - he has a thick head of hair and has more energy than most adults. Doctors are confident they can clear the leukaemia. His type was a death sentence a few years ago, but more money has been ploughed into research, so doctors know more.”

Freddy is also an ambassador for Alder Hey, where he meets celebrities and represents the hospital at events.