Jacob Reddy, now 16, never got to meet his brother Joseph.
At one month old Joseph got meningitis, leaving him with lots of health challenges. He died before Jacob was born, shortly ahead of his third birthday.
Although Jacob and Joseph never met in person their brotherly bond will be there forever.
“There is a strong bond, even though I didn’t meet him he is always going to be my brother. It’s always something difficult to think about, it’s almost more difficult that I didn’t get to meet him. Knowing he played such an important role in my family's life.”
Joseph had a love for music, he used to enjoy doing music therapy at Derian House Children’s Hospice near Bolton. So it’s no surprise that Jacob is a keen musician as well - and he decided to turn his and his brother's passion into a big challenge in an effort to ‘make a bad situation a little better’.
“If something is difficult, if something is tough, try and find a way to turn it around and do something positive. Make a bad situation a little better.”
Embarking on a mammoth tour of England Jacob visited all 52 cities in 22 days to busk (play music on the street) in an effort to raise money for Derian House, the charity that helped his brother.
His journey saw him inspire thousands of people and bring a smile to the faces of many more as they passed by and enjoyed his singing. His favourite day so far though was meeting youtubers Jaackmaate and Stevie White from Jaack’s Happy Hour podcast.
They came out after reading his story and wanted to give their support. He said moments like this reminded him the journey was a ‘chance to make my brother proud’.
Jacob has one key tip for anyone else whose brother or sister has died.
“Try and remember them, remember the things they enjoyed, even though my brother's life was quite difficult at points, he enjoyed lots of great things.”
Jacob didn’t just have fun on his journey, he also found a unique way to honour his brother’s legacy - all whilst raising £8,000 for the charity that helped him.
Lots of people find focusing their attention on fun challenges a great way to remember their sibling, and what a fantastic challenge Jacob has carried out!