50 for 50 – Long-time CRW fundraiser, Helen Davies, takes on momentous challenge to mark her milestone birthday!
This month, to celebrate turning 50 Helen Davies has decided to run 50 miles in memory of her brother, Richard, who sadly lost his battle with cancer aged 30.
Helen is no stranger to Cancer Research Wales, who, inspired by her brother, Richard, started fundraising for the charity 22 years ago. After being diagnosed with a rare form of cancer, Helen’s brother, Richard Davies, originally set up the ‘Penny Farthing Appeal’ to help raise funds for Cancer Research Wales. The name of the appeal came about as a result of Richard and Helen’s Father, Derrick Davies, riding Penny Farthings when Richard was a child. Richard noted that he would always follow his father whilst riding to make sure he didn’t fall off!
Helen explains: “My late brother Richard started fundraising for Cancer Research Wales in 1998 when he was diagnosed with a very rare type of cancer. He was very kind hearted and always thought of others. He had an idea to raise £1,000.00, but to date the Penny Farthing appeal that he set up has raised in excess of £300,000.00”Along with his family, Richard organised his first charity event in 1999, which was to cycle the Penny Farthing on the Stenna Line from Fishguard, Wales to Ireland and back. In honour of the event, Father Derick built a frame for the bike and also had a child penny farthing for children to ride also. Everyone took turns and kept the wheels turning for the journey and raised money on the way.Tragically Richard lost his battle with cancer two days before the challenge. Richard was only 30 years old and was married with a young family. Richard’s family and friends knew he would still want them to finish what he started, and so they did. With broken hearts they did it for Richard and have carried on raising money in his memory ever since.Along with her mother, Carol, and Father, Derrick, Helen has organized a variety of fundraising activities, including head shaves, tractor runs, friends have run the London Marathon over the years, Cardiff Half Marathon to name a few. Helen has also been regularly raising funds by making Christmas Reindeers and selling in their local market. However, as Helen reaches her milestone birthday, she has decided to take on her biggest challenge yet in honour of her brother.
Helen stated: “Getting older is a privilege, so I am going to celebrate in style by running.” Launching her challenge on her 5oth birthday in July, over the coming months Helen plans to run two half-marathons around her local area of Newcastle Emlyn, before completing the challenge by running the Snowdon Marathon Eryri in October, making it 50 miles at 50!
Explaining the reason for choosing to undertake this landmark challenge, Helen said: “No matter who we meet everyone knows someone affected by this disease and we always talk to people about the amazing research carried out in Universities and Hospitals in Wales and tell them how important it is that every penny raised is spent in Wales on vital research to make a cancer free Wales. We will carry on raising money for Cancer Research Wales for as long as we can as this is what my brother would have wanted.”In appreciation of Helen’s efforts and commitment to the CRW’s cause, Head of Income Generation, Marketing and Communications, Rhodri Davies, stated: “We are extremely grateful to Helen for undertaking this momentous challenge in support of Cancer Research Wales. Her continued commitment to the charity is testament to Helen and her family’s longstanding generosity and commitment to creating better outcomes for people affected by cancer in Wales. Penblwydd Hapus Helen!”