Brother and sister from Swanmore take on year of challenge to fundraise in memory of their mum
A BROTHER and sister are taking a on a year of endurance challenges to fundraiser for Leukaemia research in honour of their mum who died cancer.
Carolyn Berry was first diagnosed six and a half years ago and was treated by Professor Charlie Craddock CBE, one of the founders of charity Cure Leukaemia.
But last year at the age of 66, Carolyn died and her children Andrew Berry and Vicky Newhouse are now determined to give back to the charity.
Vicky, from Swanmore, said: ‘Grief is the most personal experience and for me, after losing Mum, my grief has manifested into a great sense of pride in what she achieved.
‘She didn’t want cancer - who does - but she underwent gruelling treatment and in the majority never let her illness define her.
‘We are doing this for Mum but also for the survivors as well, to raise money for Cure Leukaemia to help people like Mum in the future.’
The ‘touch of turquoise’ challenge, named after their mother’s favourite colour, will see the pair take on six gruelling endurance challenges throughout the next 12 months, including the Great North Swim, Sandman Triathlon and RNLI Portsmouth 10k.
Chartered surveyor Andrew said: ‘It all started with my wife’s cousin, who was preparing to swim the channel.
‘We started chatting about the Great North Swim, then went on to other things like 10k races and Ultra Marathons, and before we knew it we had lined up all these different challenges – in for a penny, in for a pound.
‘All the events have significance to Mum – she loved going swimming before she became ill, the walking as she loved her dog walks and the triathlon is in one of her favourite spots in North Wales.
‘She also spent a lot of time in Portsmouth with Vicky, hence the RNLI race as well.’
They are also supported by their families with Vicky’s eight-year-old daughter Charlotte undergoing a drastic haircut and Andrew’s eight-year-old daughter Annabelle pledging to climb Snowdon.
Vicky, who works for the UK’s Air Traffic Control provider NATS based in Whiteley, added: ‘Mum was so grateful to all the nurses & doctors who worked in the haematology ward and made it her mission to bake a cake every time she came in for treatment - I think at some stage there was a request list in place.
‘She always said she was proud of Andrew and I, and I know she would be so proud of what we’re doing in supporting other patients and families going through their own cancer battles.’
Andrew said: ‘Mum would probably have called us lunatics for taking this on, and she would have been right.
‘But she was full of fire and full of life and also had a determined streak which she passed on to both of us, so while we won’t break any records with these events, we will definitely get to the finish and all the memories of her will help us get over the finish line.’
Vicky added: ‘I don’t know what I’m more worried about - 100km of walking or two solid days and one night of my brother’s company, with his terrible jokes and utter gibberish that he talks.’
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