May 20 2013 Latest news:
By Mariam Ghaemi
Wednesday, May 9, 2012
A RETIRED couple who have lost two “very special friends” to brain tumours are set to cycle 900 miles in a bid to raise £10,000 to support research into this type of cancer.
Enid, 66, and Hugh Davies, 67, from Bury St Edmunds are also hoping their bike ride from north-west Scotland to south-east England in aid of the Astro Fund charity will increase awareness of the disease.
The couple lost both Christine Hughes, who was Mrs Davies’ best friend at college, and David Mapus-Smith, who was a neighbour when they lived in Shimpling, Suffolk, to brain tumours.
Mr Mapus-Smith died at the age of 40 in 2009, leaving three children and wife Christine, while Mrs Hughes, who was a grandmother-of-three from Kent, died last year at the age of 65.
The charity said more children and those under 40 die of a brain tumour than from any other type of cancer and yet 1% of cancer funding goes into brain cancer research.
Mr and Mrs Davies said: “We leave Durness on May 26 and hope to reach Dungeness around June 10, covering about 60 miles each day. We will fund all expenses incurred ourselves so all donations will go directly to Astro Fund. If you feel able to make a donation, we would welcome your support.”
Mrs Mapus-Smith spoke of the devastating effect of the illness on her husband, who was a chartered surveyor, and their family.
She said: “It’s a horrendous illness. Anything that affects the brain affects behaviour.”
Mr Mapus-Smith, who had led a healthy lifestyle, was diagnosed in 2005. His wife said: “He was obviously just very, very unlucky, but how he dealt with this illness was absolutely phenomenal. He was so strong.”
She said it was through the support of friends like Mr and Mrs Davies that families of victims manage to get through the ordeal.
The couple, who say they are “nervously excited” about the challenge, have already raised more than £4,000.
To donate visit http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/team/DaviesDtoD or post to Astro Fund, 1 West Hall Farm Barns, Sedgeford, Norfolk PE36 5NA.