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Dad raises cash for daughter’s hospital

A Surrey man has completed a charity canoe trip from Windsor to the centre of London on the River Thames.

Michael Baldwin started out on the journey at the weekend, raising cash from the hospital that is treating his daughter, Maisy, who is suffering with cancer.

Ahead of his challenge, which saw Baldwin paddle along the river to the Southbank studios of ITV where he works, he said:

“I’ve never done anything like that in terms of endurance. I haven’t had much time to train being so busy with work and looking after Maisy. But I’ve had some lessons and now I’m just looking forward to getting it over with.”

These classes were vital for the father as he attempted to paddle along the Thames, a tidal river with strong currents. However, with a number of places offering kayak trips and canoe hire up and down the country, including in Chester on the River Dee, getting the experience was fairly straightforward.

The 45-mile challenge, on the other hand, was not so easy, with Baldwin not completing the route until late on Monday afternoon.

All of the money raised by the feat will be heading directly to the Royal Marsden Cancer Charity, which is looking after Maisy. Earlier this year, the eight-year-old was diagnosed with Wilms’ tumour, a form of paediatric kidney cancer.

It was Maisy who gave her dad the idea for the challenge, having seen the Thames meandering its way past the offices where he works.

The event, christened ‘Canoe for Moo’ after Maisy’s childhood nickname, had raised over £5,000 at the time of writing.