Determined teen raises over £8k for hospice in memory of best friend
A TEENAGER has raised £8,500 for the Donna Louise Hospice Children's Trust in memory of his best friend.
Izaak Bailey, age 14, of Winnothdale, Tean, has raised the money for the trust, which runs the Treetops Hospice where his friend Saim Khaliq found comfort.
Saim died in January this year after losing an 18-month battle against bone cancer.
Before he died, Izaak made a promise to Saim that he would help raise money for the hospice.
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And the total money raised has been boosted to £10,000 after Izaak's schoolmates raised £1,500 at various events including a sponsored bike ride, non-uniform day, sponsored walk and sponsored leg wax.
Izaak said Saim, of Werrington, was his "very best friend."
The Painsley Catholic College student said: "We shared a friendship that was unique and Saim was very special to me, someone I was proud to call my very best friend.
"We had so much in common.
"Before he died, he asked me if I would help to raise money for the hospice and told me he could rely on me to do that.
"As soon as I got home that night, I started researching what I had to do.
"I had originally aimed to raise £3,000 and thought I would struggle to do that.
"So to raise so much does give me a sense of disbelief."
As part of Izaak's fund-raising, he has completed a gruelling 10k swim with friend David Hannah, taken part in a sponsored walk, sold special ribbons and held a raffle.
He added: "The sponsored swim was one of the most difficult things I have ever done.
"It was a huge challenge, but one I was so determined to complete.
"The thought of Saim helped to push me through until the end."
Izaak is now looking at becoming a full-time charity worker when he finishes school.
He said: "I don't think before I met Saim I would have considered doing something like this.
"But it is now one of the options open to me when I leave school.
"In the meantime, I am going to continue to keep raising money for the hospice."
Izaak is now planning on planting a tree in Saim's memory later this year.
His mum, Yvonne, said: "What Izaak has done for his friend has astonished us all and we are extremely proud of him.
"Saim was Izaak's best friend and after he died, I've never seen him so low.
"The boys' friendship was a great one and Izaak was devastated when Saim died.
"But raising this money has helped him to focus and cope with his loss."
Melanie Mills, head of fund-raising at the Donna Louise Children's Hospice Trust, said: "We are absolutely taken aback with the success of his fund-raising. It is an inspiration and fine example to us all to see someone so young committed to helping others."