hōu Canoes are proud to be supporting and supplying the boats for the stars who picked up their paddles to join a heroic team powering their way through waterways of the North West for Stand Up To Cancer’s Great Canoe Challenge.
Showing grit and determination, the ‘Paddlers’; Carla Bradbury, Jag Chather, David Sing and Helen Weller, who have all been affected by cancer, paddled five marathons in five days. In September 2017 the team set off from Chester and finished the challenge in the heart of Liverpool.
British Canoeing also supported the 'Great Canoe Challenge' alongside Stand Up To Cancer, with a particular involvement on coaching the paddlers and celebrities to ensure they are prepared for the challenge.
A number of the participants attended a training day at Lee Valley White Water Centre, where British Canoeing coached many aspects of the sport to aid them throughout the week.
Michelle Heaton, Anthea Turner and Amy Willerton, along with a host of other celebrities, partnered with the Paddlers in their canoes each day to help them reach the finish line.
Carla Bradbury, who has survived cervical cancer, said: “Preparing to take on the challenge made me think about when I was going through treatment. I was so weak, I couldn’t exercise, I couldn’t even stand up in the shower. Reflecting back made me realise how far I’ve come. I couldn’t feel more ready to take on the Great Canoe Challenge. I’m determined to raise as much money as possible so we can fund Stand Up To Cancer’s amazing research. Because research will save lives.
“The challenge comes at a nerve-racking but exciting time for me. My five year appointment with my oncologist is on the Monday after and I’m hoping to get the all clear. All being well, I am planning on getting a tattoo to mark the moment and celebrate that I have beaten the disease.”
Michelle Heaton, said: “Taking part in the Great Canoe Challenge was a no-brainer for me. When I discovered I was a carrier of the BRCA2 gene, it was devastating. I felt like my world had been turned upside down. I want to do everything I can to help to raise money for research because I know it’s the key to defeating this disease. Meeting all the paddlers who’ve experienced cancer first-hand is going to be my motivation. It’s a tough challenge but I’m really looking forward to sharing stories, having some fun along the way and being involved in something I feel so deeply passionate about.”
Stand Up To Cancer is a joint national fundraising campaign from Cancer Research UK and Channel 4. Launched in the UK in 2012, Stand Up To Cancer funds game-changing research that accelerates new cancer treatments and test to UK patients to save more lives, faster. More than £38 million has been raised in the UK to date and over 40 trials and projects have been funded, that will involve more than 10,000 cancer patients.
Stand Up To Cancer’s Great Canoe Challenge took place from Monday 25 September – Friday 29 September, but you can still donate. For more information visit: standuptocancer.org.uk/canoe, to support the Paddlers and donate £5 or £10 text CANOE5 orCANOE10 to 70404*, or donate online at standuptocancer.org.uk/canoe
Other celebrities taking part in the challenge include: The Lean Machines, Natalie Anderson, Michelle Ackerley, Jack Maynard, Niomi Smart, Jake Humphrey, Anna Passey and Tyger Drew-Honey.