A kind-hearted swimming teacher has been awarded this week’s Charity Champion after raising over £5,000 for Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity. 

Michael Harley turned to fundraising, in memory of his pupil’s brother who sadly passed away last year. Daniel Banner, from Kingswinford, passed away in March 2017 following a short battle with lymphoma – he was just 12-years-old.

Daniel first began feeling unwell in December 2016, but mum, Alison, assumed it was just a typical winter illness. By the end of January, Daniel was off school again and by February he was admitted to his local hospital before being transferred to Birmingham Children’s Hospital where he required a lung bypass.

After a series of scans, Daniel was diagnosed with a rare type of lymphoma called Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphma, he was only the fourth known child to develop this particular type of Lymphoma. Just a few weeks later, Daniel’s parents were forced to make the heart-breaking decision to switch off his life support machine after he failed to respond to treatment.

The Banner siblings swimming teacher, Michael Harley, was inspired to fundraise in his honour, and to give something back to the hospital that cared for Daniel. He organised a sponsored swim and encouraged people who knew Daniel to sign up and fundraise.

He said: “I taught Daniel’s siblings to swim and was heartbroken when I heard the news about Daniel. I, along with other members of the local community, wanted to do something positive in his memory.

“On the day, we were delighted with the amount of people who attended the sponsored swim and those who came to support, 1000 lengths were swam in total and £5,065 raised. We’re really pleased to be donating the money back to the Children’s Hospital, and feel proud to be doing so in Daniel’s memory.”

Miranda Williams, Public Fundraising Manager at Birmingham Women’s and Children’s Hospital Charity, added: “It’s inspirational to hear how Daniel’s friends and family have supported our charity in honour of Daniel, and we’re incredibly grateful to Michael and the rest of the swimmers for taking on the challenge to raise vital funds.

“The money raised from the sponsored swim will go directly towards our Critical Journeys Appeal to help us equip a fleet of four ambulances with the latest, life-saving equipment. This appeal is close to the hearts of the Banner family as Daniel was transferred in the Critical Care Ambulances twice.”

For more information about Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity, or to donate, visit www.bch.org.uk, email [email protected] or call 0121 333 8506.