A FAMILY who lost loved ones to cancer has completed a heartfelt virtual cross-country challenge spanning over 1,800 miles during lockdown to help raise vital funds for Cancer Research UK.
The challenge which has raised £1,615 so far, is comparable to travelling from Land’s End to John o’ Groats and back to Cardiff and was achieved by five people in the same household doing a mix of daily runs, walks, and cycles outside and on a static bike.
It was an emotional journey for dad Grant Findlay as both his parents died of cancer. Grant’s wife Alison also lost her father to the disease.
The couple were joined by their 20-year-old son Callum and his girlfriend Millie, as well as their daughter Eilidh, 17.
Within the restrictions of the nation-wide lockdown the family from Pontprennau, Cardiff started the challenge on Monday 13th April and completed it within 34 days finishing on Saturday 16th May.
Grant aged 53 explained: “Sadly our family and Millie’s has been affected by cancer in recent years, both my parents died from the disease as well as my wife’s dad and when we realised, we would have this time together, we wanted to try to help people affected by this devastating disease. In fact, we originally set the challenge to just go to John O Groats and the day we achieved that was the two-year anniversary of my father’s death, that was very poignant to me”
Millie has been charting the family’s progress on Instagramisolation_lejog and when they hit their original destination of John O’Groats they were persuaded by her instgram poll to go further, and (virtually) travel 680.2 miles back down to Cardiff.
Whilst some of the journey has been completed by individual runs and bike rides the family have done lots of walks together within the Government guidance of one form of exercise a day.
Grant continued: “While we didn’t expect the lockdown and the impact it would have on our lives it has been lovely to spend time together as a family and overall the challenge has been a really positive and memorable experience.”
Lynne Eagles, senior local fundraising manager for Cancer Research UK in Wales said: “We are so grateful to Grant and his family. It’s such an impressive challenge and we’re extremely humbled that they chose to support the charity at what is such a difficult time for everyone.
“Sadly, although it feels like everything has stopped, cancer has not.Every day, around 53 people are diagnosed with cancer in Wales*.People like Grant and his family help us to raise money to find better treatments for cancer and improve the lives of people and families affected by the disease.
“We remain tirelessly committed to making progress for people affected by cancer, but now more than ever, support from the public will be vital. We simply will not be able to continue funding our cutting-edge work without it.”
Cancer Research UK expects to see its fundraising income decline by up to 25 per cent in the next financial year, as a direct result of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.
However, the charity is working hard to ensure that people affected by cancer get the support and information they need.
To show your support, you can visit the family’s fundraising page at https://fundraise.cancerresearchuk.org/page/grants-giving-page-51