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Friends and family go extreme in memory of their ‘absolute hero’


The family of a Malmesbury man have raised more than £12,000 in his memory to fulfill his wishes and raise money for the planned Dyson Cancer Centre at the Royal United Hospitals (RUH) Bath.

Michelle Dench and family friend Sienna Sky have completed some incredible fundraising challenges in memory of John Price, who was treated at the hospital for chronic myeloid leukaemia and myeloma before passing away last year. A tribute fund has since been set up in his name to continue raising funds for the RUH.

Michelle, who herself is a cancer survivor, ran the ‘Race to the Stones’, a 100km ultra-marathon along one of the oldest trails in Britain, the Ridgeway, this summer. She completed the race in 16 hours, 46 minutes and 33 seconds.

Michelle said: “The last 10km was tough, but I had his walking poles so he helped me every step of the way. My dad is my absolute hero. His strength and determination helped me get through my own cancer treatment with a positivity that I didn’t know I had in me. He was always so grateful for the help and support he received at the RUH and was actively involved with The Forever Friends Appeal fundraising team.

“One thing I remember him saying to me was ‘I can deal with having cancer but it really upsets me when I see little children going through treatment; it’s not fair’.  It is a shame he will never see the new cancer building finished, but I know he was so glad to have helped a little along the way. That is what we are trying to do as a family; to continue his hard work.”

Malmesbury resident and singer/songwriter Sienna Sky did a wing walk and raised over £1,000. Strapped to the wings of a biplane she bravely sang ‘Fly me to the Moon’ while the plane performed a series of zoom climbs and steep dives.

She said: “It was an absolute joy for me to take on something so terrifying, yet so exhilarating, in order to raise a wonderful amount of money towards John’s fund.”

Perhaps more sedate, but no less impressive, the family also held a golf day which raised £3,300 and John’s wife Helen and daughter Louise took part in The Forever Friends Appeal’s Walk of Life earlier this year.

The family also raised £7,000 through coffee mornings and Michelle’s marathons while John was alive.

Through support from the public and major donations, The Forever Friends Appeal continues its RUH Cancer Care campaign to raise funds for the Dyson Cancer Centre. To make a donation to the charity or find out about the Dyson Cancer Centre visit: www.foreverfriendsappeal.co.uk/ruhcancercentre.

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