THOUGHTFUL families with terminally-ill children completed a series of strenuous challenges to raise money for a beloved hospice service based in Oxford.

To demonstrate their appreciation for staff at Helen & Douglas House many Oxfordshire residents are taking part in the nationwide 2.6 Challenge that was launched last month.

One of the participants who chose to fundraise for the hospice was Toby O' Grady, a six-year-old boy who suffers from a complex neurological condition called Dravet Syndrome.

This means he experiences frequent and severe seizures and needs constant attention, and his parents Tim and Kim insisted that without the respite care from Helen & Douglas House in the last nearly six years they 'would have not survived'.

Mrs O' Grady added: "Over the last several weeks we have all suffered from symptoms of coronavirus, which led to a very scary day for all of us when Toby had multiple seizures due to a high temperature.

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"Having been advised not to go to hospital we relied on the doctors at Helen House to provide medical advice.

"We would have been lost without them."

To demonstrate their appreciation to the dedicated service the couple started the fundraiser with Toby who showed a keen interest in leading the challenges.

The brave six-year-old has now raised almost £2,500 with the help of 94 supporters – a major increase of the initial £500 target.

Toby's parents filmed him as he raced through the challenges that not only included him consuming 26 chocolate buttons but also walking 26 metres, climbing the stairs 26 times and throwing 26 balls.

The charming videos were then posted on the Facebook page Toby's Trust where the parents share weekly updates about their son's wellbeing and heart-warming family photographs.

Director of fundraising for the hospice Hazel Bedford applauded Toby's extraordinary efforts.

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She said: "It is so humbling to see children like Toby and his family, who we care for, for raising such an amazing amount of money for us in the 2.6 Challenge and we would like to say a massive thank you to them for doing this for us.

"Many of these are really tough challenges for Toby, so it is such a wonderful thing to have done to raise money for us.

"We are so pleased we can be there for families like Toby’s during lockdown when many of our families are isolated at home because their children are so vulnerable.

Other families across Oxfordshire have also been dedicating time to fundraise for the hospice with almost £9,000 already donated through the 2.6 Challenge.

The campaign was put together by organisers of some the UK's biggest mass participation sports events – including the London Marathon – with the aim to help charities that are struggling right now, with many fundraising events being cancelled during the crisis.

To donate to Toby's campaign visit