Belvedere schoolboy's two-week readathon to raise cash for family friend's operation (From News Shopper)
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Belvedere schoolboy's two-week readathon to raise cash for family friend's operation
A BELVEDERE schoolboy who reads up to five books a day is putting his literary talent to good use.
Nine-year-old Ben Hughes, who attends Bedonwell Junior School, has even been known to read while crossing the road to the bus stop.
But when his mother Ingrid heard close family friend Sherrie Bayley, 47, needed to raise £4,000 to pay for life-saving chemotherapy in Africa, she asked Ben to help out.
The mother and son team are now going to hold a Readathon, with Ben reading as many books as he can in two weeks to fund treatment for Mrs Bayley's pancreatic cancer.
Mother-of-three Ingrid, who lives with Ben in Barnfield Road, said: "Because there is no NHS system in Africa, if she can’t come up with the money to pay for the operation she can’t have it.
"I’m hoping to make people a bit more aware that we live in a country where you don’t lose your life if you don’t have the money."
Ingrid says Ben’s reading level is two years ahead of his age and that he has previously read the complete Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings series.
She describes him as a "bit of a history buff" and says he is a big fan of the Horrible History series which he has read "over and over."
The 36-year-old added: "It does drive me a bit mad but I’m hoping to put it to good use.
"There have been a couple of times where he has gone to the library but was upset because he wasn’t allowed more than 10 books out.
"He then gets home and by the time I’m calling him for lunch, he wants to go back as he has already finished them."
Mrs Bayley is the daughter of Ingrid’s mum’s best friend, who she has stayed in contact with since her mum died when she was young.
She has already funded one operation to battle cancer and this has drained her family’s financial resources.
Ingrid added: "I’m a bit worried there won’t be enough books he hasn’t read and he might have to re-read a few to get them on record.
"That would be a dream come true for him, to just be able to read and not have to do anything else for the Easter holidays."
Visit ‘Read 4 Need no Cancer’ on Facebook.