During #ChildhoodCancerAwarenessMonth Simon May will be taking on the Julian Alps challenge to raise vital funds in memory of Frank Ashton, who sadly lost his life to Ewing sarcoma aged 14.

The money raised from the challenge, which will take Simon across Italy, Austria and Slovenia, will be donated to Frank's Fund – a Special Fund of the Bone Cancer Research Trust.

The Julian Alps (or Julijske Alpe as they're known locally) are renowned for involving some of the most brutal climbs featured in many professional races, and will see Simon cycle 500km with 10000m of ascent!

Reflecting on the challenge ahead, Simon commented:

I am raising money for a cause most dear to my heart. Frank was the most fun-loving, wonderful and courageous person as well as being my son's closest friend and we all miss him so much. Lack of funding for Ewing sarcoma means that treatments have not improved in almost 40 years, so please support Frank's Fund if you can. Whether you're able to donate £5 or £500, every penny counts.

Frank was just 11 years old when he was diagnosed with Ewing sarcoma in April 2016. He faced some of the most gruelling treatments imaginable, including 14 cycles of chemotherapy, 2 months of proton beam therapy carried out in the United States and an 8-hour operation to remove the tumour and a large section of his pelvis.

In September 2017, just five months into his remission, Frank's family received the devastating news that the disease had returned. He faced further cycles of chemotherapy and radiotherapy, but his health began to deteriorate quickly, and he sadly passed away on 9th February 2019.

Following his death, Frank's family set up Frank's Fund to raise vital funds for crucial research into Ewing sarcoma. This research is so desperately needed for children like Frank, as although over 90% of primary bone tumours diagnosed in patients under 19 are Ewing sarcoma or osteosarcoma, treatment options and survival rates have barely improved in the past thirty years.

Kate Connor, Senior Regional Relationship Manager at the Bone Cancer Research Trust, said:

We truly rely on the kindness and dedication of supporters like Simon who take on such incredible challenges like this one to raise vital funds and awareness. We are incredibly grateful to Simon for taking on the challenge in Frank's memory and offering much-needed hope to Ewing sarcoma patients of the future. Thank you so much Simon, we think you are truly amazing!

If you would like to follow Simon's journey and support him, please visit his JustGiving page below:

Click here

To find out more about Frank's Fund, please visit:

Frank's Fund