Robbie Varey, 43, from Linthorpe raised more than £1,000 in his first week of collecting sponsorship, after deciding to complete the annual race for James Cook’s Breast Cancer Unit.
Robbie was inspired by wife Natalie, a nurse, who used to work on the unit and now works in the hospital’s renal unit – as well as a family friend who underwent a mastectomy for breast cancer within one week of going to her GP with a lump.
He said: “I had started training for the run anyway, and I thought, “why not raise some money as well”.
“I had a target of about £300 but I work in construction and the lads are very generous.
“Before long, people were giving me £10 or £20 and saying “my sister has breast cancer” or “I lost my Mum to it”. It seemed to be close to a lot of people’s hearts and the fundraising just took off.”
South Tees Hospitals Charity takes donations on behalf of all the Trust’s wards and departments to help fund items and services that make life in hospital that little bit more comfortable for patients.
Funds raised for the Breast Cancer Unit, which supports approximately 250 patients every year, providing state-of-the-art diagnostic services, allow specialist nurses to provide complementary treatments and services in a friendly, relaxed atmosphere.
These include aromatherapy, acupuncture, auricular acupuncture, reflexology and reiki.
It is understood these treatments can have a positive effect on patients’ wellbeing and help relieve some of the common side effects associated with conventional treatments like chemotherapy, as well as supporting patients with the more emotional side of cancer treatment.
Robbie is now encouraging other runners to consider getting behind South Tees Hospitals Charity by running for a cause close to their hearts this year.
He said: “If you’re going to do the run anyway, why not raise a couple of pounds along the way as well?”
And if you weren’t planning on doing it, what better reason could there be to lace up your trainers and get fit!
For more on the race and to register, visit https://www.everyoneactive.com/runmiddlesbrough/
You can also find out more on some of our fabulous fundraisers at https://www.southtees.nhs.uk/about/fundraising/helping-hands/