A BARROW man and his brother are undertaking a monumental challenge in aid of a charity very close to their hearts.

Mark Swainson, 37, from Roose, his brother Paul Swainson, 39 and family friend, Phil Wright, are aiming to canoe the length of Windermere before cycling to climb Scafell Pike, the highest mountain in England, all within a time frame of 15 hours.

Dubbed the Peaks, Peddles, Paddles Challenge, the event has been headed by Paul who wanted to do something unique to mark his fortieth birthday.

The fundraising aspect of the challenge came in response to Mark and Paul’s cousin’s son being diagnosed with a life-threatening brain tumour last year.

Paul said: “Within four weeks of deciding on our challenge, our cousin’s little boy Felix was diagnosed with a brain tumour and straight away we decided to combine my fortieth birthday with raising money for this.”

Two-year-old Felix Durnion, who lives in Liverpool, was taken to hospital after he began tilting his head to the side.

A CT scan revealed a mass in Felix’s brain stem which was successfully removed in a 10-hour operation.

A few weeks later Felix started a gruelling and intensive course of chemotherapy followed by proton beam therapy in America.

Mark, an engagement officer in Barrow, hopes the challenge raises as much awareness for brain tumour diagnosis as possible.

He said: “The end goal is for Felix to get better and raise as much money as we can for Brain Tumour Charity (THE) which is on the forefront of the fight to beat brain cancer.

“We’re aiming for there to be quicker treatment, medicine, equipment and an earlier diagnosis.”

Both Mark and Paul have already begun their gruelling training process six months prior to the event date.

Paul said: “I’m a personal trainer by trade so I’m well used to the theoretical side. Because we’ve never done this before, we don’t know what to expect. Logistically it is going to be quite challenging. This is our first fundraising event on this scale.”

Mark spoke of the “overwhelming support” they received for the challenge.

He said: “Within six hours of posting the challenge we had raised £500 and have set our target as the date of the challenge: £2807. It’s incredible.”

The brothers will be completing their challenge on July 28 this year.

Visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/peakspedalspaddles