A father who lost his daughter to Ewing sarcoma when she was just 12 years old is channelling his grief by fundraising for vital research in her name.
Together with his close friend Neil, Ben Phelps completed the famous National Three Peaks of Snowdon, Scafell Pike, and Ben Nevis in his first fundraising challenge for Love Beth, a Special Fund of the Bone Cancer Research Trust.
The pair opted to take on this strenuous challenge with a twist and, in doing so, have raised over £11,000 and counting for vital research into Ewing sarcoma.
Over five days, they travelled over 500 miles and climbed more than 23,000 feet – just 6,000 feet shy of Mount Everest. While most hikers climb the mountains and drive the distance between them, Ben and Neil opted to cycle the 500 miles instead!
Commenting on the motivation for this fundraiser, Ben said
Whilst this is a huge physical challenge, any pain we encounter during training and completing this is insignificant to what Beth endured. On a more spiritual note, there will be something special about being so high up each mountain, and somehow closer to Beth.
Having completed the challenge 10 years ago for the Rays of Sunshine Charity, Ben knew what he would be up against and took this in his stride, commenting:
I thought it was a great challenge back then and helped raise a good chunk of money for a good cause. It was massively physically taxing, and I’m ten years older, so it was always going to be quite tough. There is a photo of Beth wearing a t-shirt that Aby, her mother, designed of me on a bike. I knew in my heart this was the right thing to do.
In a touching tribute to his daughter, Ben placed a stone that Beth had painted on top of each mountain. Speaking before the challenge began, he shared:
Ten years ago, I placed a stone on top of each mountain. They were small pebbles that Beth had painted for my mum, who passed away from cancer the week before Beth was born. At the time, Beth painted these stones for her grandmother, who she never met. I will do the same again with the pebbles she had painted, but I'm putting them up there for Beth this time.
Louise Everett, Regional Relationship Manager at the Bone Cancer Research Trust, said:
We rely on the kindness and dedication of supporters like Ben and Neil who take on such incredible challenges like this one to raise funds for much-needed research. We are so incredibly thankful to them for taking on this challenge in Beth's memory to offer hope to future patients. Thank you so much Ben and Neil. We think you are truly amazing.Beth Phelps was just 11 years old when her parents discovered a lump on her left shoulder blade. It was around 5cm in length and looked like a hard golf ball under the skin.
After 14 rounds of chemotherapy, surgery to removed the tumour, and 30 rounds radiotherapy, Beth finally rang the end of treatment bell in 2021.
Heartbreakingly, in June 2022, doctors discovered the cancer had returned to Beth's right lung. She passed away peacefully on 3rd October 2022 with her mum, dad, and pets by her side.
To ensure that future patients do not suffer as Beth had suffered, Ben has dedicated himself to fundraising for vital research in Beth's honour.
We want to provide something that's meaningful, as a stamp that our daughter was here and she existed. It is also partly about taking revenge on a disease that took our child. Things will not improve without knowledge, and nothing ever gets better by knowing less or giving up.
There is still time to donate to this incredible fundraiser by visiting the link below: