Amy’s plea: Give booze a break

Thornton Cleveleys teenager Amy Wilson sends alcohol packing as she urges people to bid 'bon voyage' to booze this September for Cancer Research UK's Dryathlon.
Thornton Cleveleys teenager Amy Wilson sends alcohol packing as she urges people to bid 'bon voyage' to booze this September for Cancer Research UK's Dryathlon.
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An Anchorsholme teenager who lost her mum to cancer, is urging Fylde coast residents to give booze a break to help raise funds for a charity.

Cancer Research UK’s Dryathlon is the original fund-raising campaign, which invites social drinkers to take a month-long break from alcohol.

This is the first time Cancer Research UK has run Dryathlon outside of their usual January campaign and the charity is inviting local men and women to register now and banish booze for the whole of September.

With the summer and holidays coming to an end, Amy Wilson is urging people to bid ‘bon voyage’ to booze and sending alcohol packing, in a bid to raise money for Cancer Research UK’s life-saving research.

Amy was 13-years-old and a pupil at Cardinal Allen Catholic High School, in Fleetwood, when her mum Angela Wilson was diagnosed with breast cancer, at the age of 43.

The diagnosis was a huge shock for Amy, older brother James and dad Michael.

Angela underwent a lumpectomy and chemotherapy treatment, before being given the all-clear.

But three years later, Angela developed a persistent cough and after a series of tests, it was discovered the cancer had returned, in her lungs.

Angela underwent both radiotherapy and chemotherapy treatment at The Christie Hospital, in Manchester. But she became more and more poorly and struggled on to enjoy a final family holiday to Portugal, in 2012.

Angela sadly died at home, in October 2012, aged 47, when Amy was 16.

Amy, who volunteered with Cancer Research UK’s events team this summer as a marketing intern, has just completed her A-levels and will be travelling around Australia from October for a year.

She said: “I miss my mum very much every day. She was a very kind and sympathetic person, who fought the disease bravely and didn’t want to worry anyone.

“There was no history of cancer in my family, so it was a shock to lose mum at such a young age to the disease.

“Research is absolutely vital. So that’s why I’m calling on men and women across the Fylde coast and Lancashire to be ‘dry and mighty’ and take on Dryathlon – and help bring forward the day when all cancers are cured.”

‘Dryathletes’ pledge to stay dry for a month and either get sponsored, or donate the money they would have spent on alcohol, to the charity.

Supporters can register to take part in Dryathlon as individuals, or set up a team and get their friends, colleagues or relatives involved to motivate each other.

And for those who think the one-month challenge sounds a bit too daunting, there’s the ‘tipple tax’ – if a Dryathlete falls of the wagon one evening they can donate a £20 penalty.

Jane Bullock, Cancer Research UK spokesperson for Lancashire, said: “Our Dryathletes show real willpower, in banning the booze for a brilliant cause.

“So we’re urging people to sign up now, so they’re ready and raring to go on September 1.”

In January 2015, 54,000 people took part in Dryathlon across the UK and helped raise £5m.

Jane added: “Many of us may have overindulged over the summer holidays, but it’s alcohol’s turn to take a break this September. By bidding farewell to their favourite tipple, our Dryathletes will be helping to fund research to help beat 200 different types of cancer.”