THE father of a toddler who was diagnosed with leukaemia last year is preparing to take on the Yorkshire Three Peaks – twice in one day.

Ian Clarkson, from Leyburn, has chosen the challenge to raise cash for two children's cancer charities which has supported his family since his daughter Emily’s diagnosis.

The Yorkshire Three Peaks are already challenging with walkers usually aiming to complete the walk within 12 hours – but Mr Clarkson aims to complete two laps of the peaks, totalling 49 miles, in under 16 hours.

He said: “On July 24 I will be taking on two laps of the Yorkshire Three Peaks for CLIC Sargent and Candlelighters.

“I have chosen these two charities as they have supported our family after our daughter Emily was diagnosed with leukaemia in 2018 – July 24 will mark one year since Emily’s diagnosis when she was just nine months old.

“Since then she’s been receiving treatment at Leeds General Infirmary and responding really well.”

Mr Clarkson and wife Tanya have been splitting their time between 16-month-old Emily in Leeds and older son Oliver at home in Leyburn.

She said: "Emily has responded so well to treatment and hopefully we will be home in early March. At the beginning there was lots of travelling as Emily was really ill at the start but now I stay generally Sunday to Friday then Ian stays Friday night and Saturday night.

"We’ve not all been together as a family of four at home since Boxing Day. Ian doing this challenge to give something back to just some of the people who’ve helped our family is such an amazing thing. I couldn’t be more proud and love him more for doing it."

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

Mr Clarkson said “I am looking forward to the challenge and hope to raise a great amount of money for both charities. Emily has needed several blood and platelet transfusions. I would like to raise awareness for blood and bone marrow donation.”

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