AN 11-year-old boy has today (August 30) embarked on a hard yet heart-warming challenge to hike, bike and kayak 80 miles through Powys in order to raise £5,000 for a friend who is battling cancer.

Daniel Hodges’ heroic quest will involve a 130km route over the next five days – starting in Cardiff and finishing near Hay-on-Wye.

Daniel set out this morning on bike, cycling the Taff Trail in south Wales from Rhiwbina, in Cardiff, to Merthyr Tydfil. Tomorrow he’ll enter the Brecon Beacons and cycle the Pontsticill reservoir, before taking on a tough mountain bike route known as The Gap (between the Fan y Big and Cribyn peaks); with the second day also including a detour on foot up Pen y Fan, before he finishes in Brecon.

He’ll then walk and kayak along the Brecon and Monmouthshire canal on Tuesday to Talybont-on-Usk, get back in the saddle for the penultimate leg to Glasbury on day four and then re-enter the water for day five as he paddles from Glasbury to Cabalva, just outside Hay, in time to hopefully meet up with cousin Chloe for tea on Thursday.

Daniel is taking on the challenge in order to raise money for his friend Peter Berriman – who is battling neuroblastoma, a rare form of childhood cancer. The pair, who live in Derbyshire, have been best friends since the age of two.

“Peter and his fantastic family are our neighbours and friends and are lovely, thoughtful, kind and fun,” said Rachel Hodges, Daniel’s mum.

“They are also really, really strong, determined and deserve all the support they can get.

“Daniel has known Peter since he was two and they have been the best of friends ever since.

“We really, really want to support them in any way that we can and fundraising for Peter's treatment is one way that we actually can make a difference.

“So, we have planned this big challenge for Daniel and Daniel is up for it; he's willing to push himself to his limits to help his friend.”

Daniel started out in Cardiff, at the home of family friends, and hopes to reach the Powys finish line on Thursday, where his family, including mum, dad, aunty Sam, uncle Geraint and cousin Chloe will be waiting to greet him.

Daniel added: “I am doing it for Peter. I think it will be fun. I'm not really worried about it, I’m just excited.”

Peter, also 11, is paralysed from the stomach down and in a wheelchair after a tumour was first discovered pressing on his spine in 2018. He successfully completed initial treatment in early 2020 but his cancer returned in August of that year and is now deemed as metastatic High Risk Neuroblastoma, spreading to his head and pelvis.

His family are fundraising for further treatment, either to get Peter back into remission or to try and keep the cancer away if current treatment goes to plan. This could cost hundreds of thousands of pounds, but Daniel is playing his small part. He has a fundraising target of £5,000 and £3,111 has already been donated.

You can find out more about Daniel’s challenge and donate here.