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Maidstone Harriers hold virtual 10km fundraiser for charity Brainstrust inspired by seven-year-old Seth Dickenson

A little boy who is 'as brave as a superhero' battling a terminal illness is the inspiration behind a virtual 10km charity event set up by a running group in Maidstone.

Seth Dickenson had just turned four when he was diagnosed with a brain tumour.

Seth in the summer of 2019 at Blooming Green in Boughton Monchelsea
Seth in the summer of 2019 at Blooming Green in Boughton Monchelsea

Following a blue light dash to King’s College Hospital in London, he underwent a long operation which successfully removed the medulloblastoma.

Seth then had daily radiotherapy sessions to his brain and spine for six weeks, alongside six months of chemotherapy.

Things were looking up in October 2018 when Seth was given the all clear and was able to ring the end-of-treatment bell at the Royal Marsden Hospital surrounded by his friends and family.

The Dickensons then moved from Maidstone to Cornwall where Seth, who is now seven, lives with his mum Sam, 43, dad James, 41, and his three older brothers Isaac, 15, Arthur, 14, and Rufus, 10.

But the family's world came crashing back down last summer when doctors found some of the disease had returned and unfortunately, this time they were dealt the devastating news it was terminal.

The Dickenson's will be cheering everyone on in their pirate costumes
The Dickenson's will be cheering everyone on in their pirate costumes

Mrs Dickenson who described her son as a 'resilient, laid-back and kind-hearted' young boy explained: "The day after his seventh birthday, six weeks ago, we went for an MRI and very unexpectedly he had a stroke.

"After that, he was admitted to hospital and he was so ill. He had left side paralysis and he can't walk now, but he has regained the use of his limbs so he can draw and has been enjoying playing chess with his brothers.

"Every parent with a child as ill as Seth probably says the same thing, but he is so patient and he never complains.

"He is as brave as a superhero. We just have to make the most of each day."

Seth is a huge fan of all things pirates and also loves Lego, going to the beach and drawing.

Seth came home from a hospice on Christmas Day
Seth came home from a hospice on Christmas Day

It's because of his obsession, the Maidstone Harriers are hosting a pirate-themed virtual 10km challenge for Brainstrust, a charity that has supported Seth and his family since the start of his illness.

Mrs Dickenson is a former harrier and despite the physical distance, the club has continued supporting the family through the hard times and decided to hold a charity fundraiser in Seth's name.

The event is set to take place in the first two weeks of March and the club is encouraging people of all abilities to walk, run or jog 10km in a single day and help them raise as much money as possible.

Those who complete the challenge by March 14 will receive a special pirate medal designed by Seth and his brothers.

Jane Gardiner, the Social Secretary for the Maidstone Harriers said: "We are a running and triathlon club, but more importantly we're a family.

The Dickenson family
The Dickenson family

"If a member of our family finds themselves in crisis then we come together and do everything that we can to support them.

"We've witnessed and marvelled at the bravery of the Dickenson family as they travel along this journey that no-one wants to travel along; we've delighted when things have gone well and treatments have been successful, and we've cried during dark times and bad news.

"And now we're channelling our inner pirates for Seth and we'd love as many people as possible to join us to show the Dickensons as much love and support as possible for the bravest little boy we know."

This is not the first time the club has taken on a challenge for Seth, it previously hosted the family's sponsored head shave ahead of his first chemo treatment.

Mrs Dickenson said: "From day one we have been utterly overwhelmed by the support and love from all of our friends and family including the Harriers.

"When you hear about the bad things happening in the world it's really easy to lose hope, but seeing how amazing these people are and how easily they will go out of their way for us even when times are tough really restores your faith."

The Maidstone Harriers first formed in 1986 at the Westborough Sports Centre by a group training for the London Marathon.

It caters for runners of all abilities from those training for marathons, to just looking to keep fit.

Before coronavirus they would meet every week at Maidstone Hockey Club Pavilion in Armstrong Road.

The Dickenson family hopes to join in with the challenge where they can and promised to be cheering everyone along dressed in their pirate costumes.

For more information on how to sign up and support team Seth, click here to visit The Maidstone Harriers website.

Find out more about Brainstrust here.

Read more: All the latest news from Maidstone

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