From his diagnosis with bowel cancer in 2009, and throughout his illness, Rich Garrett always resisted extra support. I suppose this was typical of a man who loved nothing more than helping others - being the person needing help was anathema to him, so instead he got involved with various cancer charities and fundraising initiatives - helping others, rather than himself.
In time, as the cancer progressed, Rich did need the support of The Primrose Unit at Bedford Hospital where he had regular chemotherapy treatment, and he got to know the fabulous team there. As a family. we also regularly met with a Macmillan nurse at our home and he frequently spoke with Stephanie Moore from The Bobby Moore Fund about possible trials and new treatments, as well as fundraising opportunities for the charity. The last 26 days of his life were spent in the St John’s Hospice at Moggerhanger, a truly remarkable place, where he was looked after until he died.
It is not at all surprising therefore, that part of his legacy, and one of the ways we can all remember this incredible gentle giant of a man is through fundraising.
It is hard to believe that Rich was just 51 when he died after his 9 year marathon battle against cancer, as indeed was Bobby Moore. Challenge 51 grew from Rich’s wish for us to fundraise for the organisations that had so supported him throughout his cancer journey, and we came up with the idea of raising £51,000 in 51 different ways, the total ultimately being split between his chosen charities, including The Bobby Moore Fund, The Research and Education Fund at Bedford Hospital's Primrose Unit, Macmillan Cancer Support and the Sue Ryder St John’s Hospice at Moggerhanger.
Anyone raising money in Rich’s memory for any/all of these can just let us know what they have raised and we then add it to our totaliser - very Blue Peter - this currently stands at about £25,000 which is extraordinary. From marathon running to cake sales to 900km cycle rides to mufti days to open water swims, every little bit will help other cancer sufferers and their families.
Rich ran 5 marathons in his lifetime, but the hardest challenge he faced by far was his illness which he fought bravely and with great dignity. In his memory 10 of us have decided to walk a marathon along his beloved South Downs for Macmillan.
Many thanks indeed for your donation and thanks for supporting our fundraising Mighty Hike. The charity is here to help everyone with cancer live life as fully as they can, providing physical, financial and emotional support.
Donating through JustGiving is simple, fast and secure. Once you donate, they'll send your money directly to the charity. So it's the most efficient way to donate - saving time and cutting costs.
We are walking the South Downs in Rich's memory for Macmillan Cancer Support because it's a walk in the park compared to his marathon
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