A Northern Ireland man began a 300-mile run today to keep his 11-year-old brother alive.
Kyle Moore will be running with the weight of his brother Billy on his back as he attempts to raise funds for his sibling who is currently in the USA receiving lifesaving treatment.
The 300-mile round trip began early on Friday morning in Omagh.
Billy’s older brother said: “Enroute I will be delivering Billy’s Santa letter to our Health Minister, along with a request from Billy to urgently fund his life saving treatment in Los Angeles and to urgently legalise medicinal cannabis, so he can come home safely.”
He added: “Many times I have quietly sat, deep in thought, tears in my eyes, very real images of the unthinkable, me carrying my wee bro in a white coffin. Those sad images haunt me on a daily basis.
“I can’t let that happen. I love my wee bro, I will never give up on him, I intend to wipe out those images once and for all. I will run with ‘Billy on my back’ so full of hope that if we all work together we can keep Billy alive and bring him home safely.”
Billy’s big brother will be running approximately 25 miles a day for 12 days with 20kg on his back.
He will also be relying on the support of strangers along the way to provide a garden for him to pitch a tent each evening.
Mr Moore said: “Billy has a life threatening form of epilipsy called Intractable Epilipsy. “Every single life threatening seizure that strikes, Billy needs oxygen. As his saturations drop and he goes blue, a rescue med has to be administered immediately to stop the seizure. One seizure can kill Billy.”
Since being treated in LA with medicinal cannabis Billy’s seizures have reduced significantly.
His mother Charlotte, who is in hospital with her son, said: “In the 15 days that Billy has being taking CBD (Cannabidiol) he has had one seizure.
“I have being living with Billy for the last 11 years, I can honestly say I don’t think it was the real Billy.
“His wee personality is starting to come out, there is a wee twinkle in his eye, he is becoming more aware of his surroundings and less imbalanced, eating more and becoming more mischievous.
“As every day passes on CBD he is changing for the better.”
His mother said the family will be lobbying the Northern Ireland government in legalising medicinal cannabis and are already engaged in talks with MLAs and their local MP.
She added: “Billy is real wee boy, with real struggles, who deserves the best chance at having a normal life. We intend to do just that.”
To help the campaign to Keep Billy Alive text Keep81 to 70070 or visit https://www.justgiving.com/campaigns/charity/just4children/keepbillyalive2