Welshpool Dollies take on 135 mile challenge for Cancer Research

Reporter:

Owain Farrington

FOUR women are running 135 miles along Glyndwr’s Way in four days for Bowel and Cancer Research.

Dianne Spencer, Sharon Davies, Fflur Roberts and Kim Evans say that running more than 33 miles per day, carrying their own food, drink and kit, will be a mental and physical rollercoaster.

“There will no doubt be ups and downs, tears of joy and pain but we are determined to give it our all,” said Sharon, 36, from Tregynon.

The foursome, all members of the Dolly Mixtures running club, will be raising money for the charity because all have been touched by the effects of bowel disease.

Dianne’s husband Graham, 64, was diagnosed with bowel cancer in August 2015 and is currently undergoing treatment for advanced secondary bowel cancer.

In addition, Sharon’s grandmother was diagnosed with colitis in her 20s and was one of the first patients in England to have a colostomy bag fitted.

She passed away at the age of 68 in 2010.

In 2015 Sharon was a bridesmaid for her best friend; unfortunately only two of the three bridesmaids were present; the third, Nicola, passed away in her 30s from Crohn’s Disease.

Sharon’s husband’s late grandfather also suffered from bowel cancer and the family undergo tests.

“Hopefully this journey is going to raise lots of money to fund research and help many people suffering from one of these illnesses,” said Sharon.

The four, who have three husbands, seven children and three grandchildren between them, met through the Dolly Mixtures running club which was set up by Sharon and Dianne in 2012.

Originally starting in Welshpool, the group now has more than 200 members aged 14 to 60-plus in five groups.

“Running is a big part of our lives,” said Dianne, 56, from Belan, near Welshpool.

“Our motto is fun, friendship and fitness – and fun definitely comes top of the list.

“We’d been talking about taking on Glyndwr for a long time. Then, when Graham got ill, it seemed like a good idea to do it for charity.

“Graham thinks we are slightly mad but he’s very supportive. He used to be a strong fell runner so he knows what lies ahead.

“It’s all about building stamina rather than speed. We’re going to run on the flats and downs and walk on the ups. It’s slightly terrifying, but we’ll stick together and no one will be left behind.”

The sports massage therapist, accountant, vet and wedding planner will set off from Knighton on September 11 and hope that other Dolly Mixtures will be there to cheer when they finish on home territory in Welshpool on September 14.

Chief executive of Bowel and Cancer Research Deborah Gilbert thanked the Dollies for their support.

She said: “We wish Graham Spencer well, and we are truly impressed by the spirit and stamina of the Dolly Mixtures. It’s thanks to people like the Dollies that we are able to keep fighting bowel disease and save lives in future.”

n Anyone who wants to support the Dollies can do so at: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Sharon-Davies26

Email:

owain.farrington@nwn.co.uk

See full story in the County Times

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