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Young hiker embarks on mountain challenge to honour friend’s life

June 24, 2024

Noah, a 10-year-old with a big heart and an adventurous spirit, is on a mission to honour his late best friend, Callum, by undertaking a remarkable fundraising challenge dubbed ‘Noah’s 4 in 2024’.

This ambitious challenge will see Noah conquer the highest peaks across England, Scotland, Wales and Germany, while raising funds in his friend’s memory, which will be donated to Shooting Star Children’s Hospices, where Callum spent time before he died, and the Brain Tumour Charity.

“Callum was a very smart friend,” Noah reflected.

“He loved maths. He and I would talk about square roots when we would talk about multiplying and dividing. He was amazing at it. We had a nickname for him, we called him the human calculator.”

Together, they enjoyed playing games like Duck, Duck, Goose or Tag at school, and both shared a love for Pokémon and played Mario Kart.

“He once showed me these magnets he had and they were really strong, they were amazing and what he could do with them,” Noah said.

While reading the Science and Nature magazine, Noah came across an article about a boy with a brain tumour who raised money for charities, sparking the idea for his fundraising feat. 

“It reminded me of what Callum had and I thought, I want to do something like this to help.”

Armed with his determination to help others, Noah has already completed his first hike up Scafell Pike in England this month, along with his parents and his five-year-old brother.

“I was proud of myself when I reached the top,” Noah said.

“It was pretty amazing what I had done. I was happy and I hope Callum was happy when he was looking down.”

Last weekend, Noah accomplished Ben Nevis in Scotland and now has Snowdon in his sights to conquer during July and Mount Brocken, the highest peak in Northern Germany, in August.

Callum’s family said, “We are so grateful to Noah and his whole family. Noah is an incredible young man, who has shown maturity way beyond his years. The depth of caring, is shown through his desire to turn grief into something constructive that can help others in similar situations.

“Noah was one of Callum’s closest friends. They had a special bond; similar in nature, they had a healthy competitive spirit towards maths and science, while both being real encouragers and happy to assist others. For Callum’s thanksgiving service, Noah wrote and read out some beautiful words that were clearly written from the heart. A year on, Noah makes a point of looking after the tree planted at school in Callum’s memory.

“Callum was the loveliest boy you could ever meet. His beautiful, handsome face, mirrored by his wonderfully caring and sensitive nature, seen in his special friendships with both girls and boys. He loved school, cuddles (especially with mummy and his cat Belle), playing board games with his family, acrobatics, bat-and-ball sports, and goofing around with his big sister. He was a little maths genius, who was always happy to lend a hand to his fantastic school buddies and had dreams of becoming a robotic engineer.

“The last few days of Callum’s life were spent at Shooting Stars Children’s Hospice in Guildford, Christopher’s. Prior to this, we were welcome to use their facilities, and Callum was able to have a special swim with the help of the lovely Phoebe, who also spent time with us at our home. Additionally, after his passing, our family was allocated sleeping accommodations, as well as private rooms for grieving and visitors, plus free meals and activities for our daughter. All the staff were the most professional, kind and compassionate people you could ever hope for. They truly are doing The Lord’s work as they care for the sick and all those affected by the loss of their loved ones. To this day, they continue to reach out to us and offer ongoing support.

“Matthew 25:40 ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me'”.

Noah’s commitment also extends beyond the physical challenge.

“I think it was two years ago, I heard cancer treatment can make you go bald. So, I decided to grow my hair long to cut it off so if people wanted hair who had cancer treatment, they could wear a wig,” he said.

Noah’s dad, Phil, who has been supporting his journey through the logistics and emotional challenges, said “I am incredibly proud of him. I’m lost for words to be honest with you.”

“We talked about what fundraising targets to set and we thought £500 might be a good target. We flew through the first two or three targets very quickly! I know his ultimate goal is the £5000 mark. That would be a nice way to finish it off. It’s been incredible to see the generosity of people.”

Asked if he had a message to the public, Noah said, “I would like them to know that some people don’t always get a perfect life. Do what you can to try and help them.”

If you wish to support Noah on his incredible mission, please visit his GoFundMe page and if you feel inspired to take up your own challenge, visit Shooting Star’s events page here.