Challenge hero Jo Shirley hoping to raise £5,000


Blood Cancer survivor Jo Shirley is doing Cure Leukaemia proud – as she looks to complete her trio of epic challenges and raise £5,000 for our charity.

Along with supportive family and friends, Jo, who has battled Chronic Lymphatic Leukaemia (CLL), is competing in a trio of events as she aims to help us fund the Trials Acceleration Programme (TAP).

As she passionately told us when she announced her plans: “I really want, in some small way, to be able to contribute to other people being able to benefit from pioneering research and the amazing treatment I have had and still am receiving.”

It’s now one down and two to go after she took on ‘The Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge’, which she describes as “one amazing experience”. 

Her fundraising total now sits at over £4,000 - £3,402 herself and over £600 from supporters - as she spoke of her experiences to date.

She said: “There were 16 of us in total who took on the 24.4 miles, including my husband, two daughters and sister – and we started at 7.30am in the morning.

“Some of us, including me, had set ourselves the challenge to run and climb as much as possible and to get around as quickly as we could. 

“It’s fair to say that each and every one of us challenged ourselves beyond our comfort zones. I got to the top of the final peak in about 5 and a half hours with two short stops for refreshments. It was amazing. I was buzzing. But my legs, especially my quads, were in bits and every step back down was painful. Regardless of that, the feeling at the end was simply amazing.

“In terms of timings, my sister - who in her day represented her country at the 1500m and Marathon - finished just ahead of me but was completely finished at the end. My daughter and her boyfriend did it in under 6 hours. I was around 7 hours in total from start to finish.  The rest of the team, those that walked, all got back in just under 12 hours.

“I’m so proud that we have raised over £4,000 to date – and there should be more to go in from paper sponsor form and cash donations too.”

But that’s just the start! Jo is now eyeing up her next two challenges. The first is climbing Mount Snowden and the second is a Half Marathon, after she was forced to withdraw from her planned Robin Hood event due to severe sinus issues ahead of the race. That’s certainly not deterred her.

She added: “Big thanks to my daughter and boyfriend who ran for me as I wasn’t able to complete. I was – and still am – bitterly disappointed as I felt in such good shape and know that I would have run the race faster than when I last competed in it two years ago. I was actually aiming for sub 2 hours – 1 hour and 50 minutes.

“But I am determined to find another event as I pledged to take part in three challenges. I am still hoping I can reach £5,000, which I’ll be really proud of.”

We’ll be very proud, too, Jo, of your determination to help the future prospects of other blood cancer patients.

You can still support Jo – click here 

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The Trials Acceleration Programme (TAP)

How funds raised for Cure Leukaemia help save lives

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"Cure Leukaemias funding of the UK Trials Acceleration Programme (TAP) is a game-changer and increases the access for blood cancer patients to potentially transformative new therapies."

Sir John Bell
"Cure Leukaemias funding of the UK Trials Acceleration Programme (TAP) is a game-changer and increases the access for blood cancer patients to potentially transformative new therapies."

Sir John Bell