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Tenbury man's cancer charity mission moves to next level
A TENBURY-based charity that has caught the imagination of the town hopes to expand to help people with cancer who cannot access NHS treatment.
That is the vision future as far as Ben Davies – who set up the charity in memory of his mother Mandy, who died almost exactly two years ago – is concerned.
Over the past 12 months Ben supported by people and traders in Tenbury and south Shropshire has raised more than £6,000 for Mandy Davies Cancer Support, which is being used to help families in financial difficulties to visit loved ones in hospital.
He has also separately raised hundreds of pounds for Tenbury Community Hopsital and Wolverhampton Hospital that helped to care for Mandy, pictured left.
She died at the age of just 44 after 15 years of fighting the disease. She suffered from a rare genetic condition that made her especially susceptible to cancer.
“The charity has really caught the imagination of people and has grown much bigger than I expected,” said Ben, 27.
“At the start I hoped I might raise £1,000, but it has gone beyoung this.
People recognise this is a local charity helping local people, and everyone knows times are tight and how much it costs for people in rural areas to travel to hospitals outside the area.”
Local shops in Tenbury backing the charity include Marilyn’s, The Hair Shop, Special Occasions, and Tenbury News. But businesses outside the area including Clee Hill Post Office and Midway Motors are also involved.
“We have already been able to help some families but people are reluctant to come forward,” added Ben.
Local GPs are involved and can refer people to the charity for support.
And Ben has a bigger vision for the future based upon his own family experience: “When my mum was ill she was initially denied a form of chemotherapy and we were told it would cost £60,000 which is ridiculous for an ordinary family.
“As it happened the decision was changed and she had the treatment although it did not help.
“But it is very distressing for people to be denied treatment and if things continue to grow I hope the charity can help with this in the future.”
Ben recently completed a 75 mile midlands cycle ride, raising £400 for the New Cross, Kidderminster and Tenbury Hospitals.
He added:“I want to say a huge thanks to everyone involved and anyone sponsored us as well as our support crew of Kerry Williamson and Louisa Shorney who kept us fed and watered along the route .
“Every pedal was for my mum and the wonderful staff at the hosptitals.
- Ben said he’s grateful to Sam Williams who ran the Bupa Birmngham Half Marathon for the charity last year and Maggie Morris who ran this year’s London Marathon.