A BOY swam the length of the English Channel to raise money for sick children after he was inspired by his cousin’s battle with a rare form of cancer.

Three-year-old Daisy Fail was one of the youngest toddlers in the country to have proton beam therapy.

Last year, the Shotley Bridge youngster was diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma, a soft tissue sarcoma suffered by fewer than 60 UK children each year.

She is now in remission and her cousin, Daniel Blackie, from Consett, a keen swimmer, was keen to do something help people in her position.

The year five Castleside Primary School pupil decided he would swim 22 miles, the equivalent of the distance between England and France, to raise money.

He swam 1,430 lengths at Consett Leisure Centre over a three-week period last month.

Daniel said: “I just wanted to help families who are going through what my family has gone through.

“I just decided to do it and I enjoyed it.

“My coaches kept pushing me and pushing me to do. I did it mostly front crawl.

“I am happy that I did it. Maybe one day I will swim the channel for real.”

Daniel has raised around £1,100 for the Children’s Cancer Fund at the Royal Victoria Infirmary.

He has been invited to hand over the cash at the Newcastle hospital on October 29.

Daniel, who lives with his parents, Carla and David, as well as his two-year-old brother, Matthew, is a member of Consett Amateur Swimming Club.

His mother, Carla Hansford, said: “We want to say a big ‘thank you’ to Consett ASC who have played a big part in allowing him to do this and counted his lengths.

“I could not be more proud of him. He has brought most of the family to tears through doing it. It is such an achievement for him to do it for himself and shown that dedication.

“But I am so proud of the fact he wanted to do it to help other families who are in a similar position.”

Ms Hansford said Daisy is back in nursery now following treatment in Newcastle and in Manchester.

She said: “Daisy is doing fine and she has got the all clear. She is in remission now and just has to go back for check-ups. She is her cheeky little self now.

“She thinks the world of Daniel.

“She has so much love for him it is unbelievable.

“She adores him and he adores her.”