Family faces year of challenges

15 in 15 challenge
15 in 15 challenge

When his family set about planning a fund-raising tribute to lion-hearted Tony Woodcock, they knew it had to be something epic.

And challenges don’t come much bigger than the 15 in 15 the trio have set themselves.

For daughters Charlotte Woodcock and Rachel McBryde, along with their mother Pam, will run, walk, cycle and swim more than 500 miles between them in 15 events during 2015.

They will push themselves to the limit in a bid to raise £15,000 for Pancreatic Cancer UK and help fight the disease that has caused them such heartbreak.

Charlotte, 32, from Stannington, said: “Dad was someone who loved life, and he loved a challenge. Whether he was running up Simonside with friends, cycling in Northumberland with us, or walking and climbing in the Lakes with Mum, he was always positive, always out there in the world, taking it on.

“And that was the attitude he applied to his fight against cancer — dig in, don’t complain, keep going. It’s what helped him beat the odds for much longer than predicted.

“After losing Dad in September this year, we quickly decided that we wanted to celebrate his life in a way he would have approved of, and we wanted to turn all the negative energy surrounding his passing into something positive. In that spirit we came up with 15 in 15.”

Former Castle Morpeth Chief Planning Officer Mr Woodcock died almost two years after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

Throughout his treatment, he was determined to live life to the full, even completing 100 miles of an Ironman cycle route in Lanzarote after his last dose of chemotherapy.

Pancreatic cancer is the fifth most common cause of cancer death in the UK and under four per cent of patients survive five years or more, yet it receives just one per cent of cancer research spend.

Mr Woodcock’s family hope not only to raise funding for research, but to boost awareness of the illness and Pancreatic Cancer UK’s valuable work.

The challenge begins on New Year’s Day with Morpeth Harriers’ 11k Morpeth Road Race, taking in half-marathons, triathlons and Ironman contests over the year, and ending with a Boxing Day dip.

The team have been offered support by Morpeth Harriers, Morpeth WI, Country Life Homes, Northumbrian Leisure and Gardiner Richardson, as well as from Olympians Colin Jackson, Chris Cook and Laura Weightman.

But they hope local residents will also come on board, joining in challenges, coming up with their own, or offering donations. There will also be some less demanding events, such as barn dances and concerts, for them.

Rachel, 37, from Climbing Tree Farm, said: “We’re determined to raise the £15,000, but we can’t do it alone – we want as many people as possible to get involved.

“We’ve chosen a range of events with something for everyone, no matter what your background, age or sporting ability. People can choose one of the challenges, or a selection that most appeals to them, or make up their own as many of our friends have pledged to do.

“At its heart, the real story behind 15 in 15 is one of courage and strength. It’s about being lion-hearted and challenging your circumstances. It’s about celebrating the hundreds of thousands of individuals who have battled one of life’s most destructive, life-changing diseases, and it’s about the families and friends who support them through those challenges.”

For more information, visit www.team15in15.com,follow @fifteenin15 on Twitter, or join Facebook group 15 in 15. Donate at www.virginmoneygiv ing.com/15in15