A WOMAN who lost her nephew to cancer took part in a fun run in Worthing on Sunday as one of 23 challenges she is completing for charity this year.
Nicol Beard, 45, from Felpham, is taking on the 23 challenges in memory of her nephew, Matthias ‘Thisy’ Barker, who died in 2011 at the age of ten.
The challenges will include running, swimming, kayaking, and cycling events.
She is raising money for Children With Cancer UK, which supported her and her family through Matthias’s 18 months of treatment.
Mrs Beard, a mother of two, has already run the London Marathon for the charity on more than one occasion, but decided to do more this year.
She said: “I felt it was a good way to pay back and support those who supported us.
“Thisy was born on January 23 and died on December 23 so the number 23 means a lot to us.”
Mrs Beard has already completed two challenges and is undertaking an ongoing one.
Her first challenge was a dip in the sea just before Christmas, her second is a year without crisps, and her third was a cross country race.
The fourth was the Lido 4Mile Fun Run along Worthing seafront yesterday.
Mrs Beard claimed she is not a natural runner or swimmer, but said: “It’s amazing what you can do when you’re just an ordinary person.”
One of the challenges she is planning to do is the Three Peaks Challenge, which involves climbing Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowdon – the highest peaks in Scotland, England and Wales – in 24 hours.
Mrs Beard said she is inspired by her nephew’s bravery through his illness.
So far she has raised £16,000 for Children With Cancer by running two marathons in two years.
This year she has raised a further £700, but her goal is to raise £46,000 to fund two years of the charity’s research.
“The support is amazing,” Mrs Beard said. “It is a sad story and you can’t ignore that fact, but we’re trying to turn it into something positive.”
To donate to Mrs Beard’s cause, go to uk.virginmoneygiving.com/challenge23nicolbeard or text THIX88 £(amount) to 70070.