A FIREFIGHTER is walking a marathon distance in his fire suit to help raise money for Laura Baxter’s operation.

Ronan Delaney saw last week's Hunts Post and decided to support our appeal and, as well as organising a raffle and collection at St Ives Rugby Club after the game on Saturday, the 23-year-old is taking on a sponsored 26.2-mile challenge.

"The story touched me and I just wanted to do something," Mr Delaney, of West Avenue, Ramsey, said. "I had a mate who died a few years ago and there was nothing I could do to help.

"I thought if there's anything I could do to help others, then I would. I'm like that."

He added: "I've never done this type of thing before, but I'm fairly fit as I play rugby and go to the gym.

"I decided on this challenge instead of doing something half-hearted like a half marathon or less - I want to do the full 26.2 miles."

After deciding to embark on the sponsored walk Mr Delaney discovered he had a very close link to Laura - his friend is one of her housemates.

"I was speaking to a friend of mine at the weekend about the walk and it turns out that he lives with Laura - it was just meant to be," he said.

Mr Delaney, who is also an artist, will be walking the marathon distance on a treadmill at Ramsey Fire Station in the next few weeks and has placed sponsorship forms around the town.

● But he is not the only one to offer some fundraising support.

Brothers Michael and Ian Williamson, of Whitehall Walk, Eynesbury, are running around Priory Field in St Neots ... dressed in women's clothing.

Michael, 15, came up with the idea, which his 17-year-old brother quickly supported.

Michael said: "I don't have a job, so money is not something I could give to help Laura with her operation, so I thought of the sponsored run.

"I said to my mother about the idea, and Ian was quick to say he'd do it too. The more people who do it the better. It should be really good.

"I haven't looked at the weather - it doesn't really bother me - the worst that's going to happen is that I get wet.

"I may have a cold for a few days after, but it's all for the good and, when you think of Laura, you realise she is going to be in a much worse situation than me - I've got to look at the bigger picture."

The brothers will be running the Longsands Academy cross-country course around the field and wood several times tomorrow (Thursday) at 2pm.

INFORMATION: If you would like to sponsor Ronan Delaney or Michael and Ian, you can send cheques, payable to Laura Baxter, to The Hunts Post, 30 High Street, Huntingdon, Cambs PE29 3TB.

You can also donate to the Laura Baxter Fund by bank transfer. The sort code for the Lloyds TSB account is 30-94-47, the account number is 38367368, account name: Mrs J Baxter, and use payment reference Laura Baxter Fund.