A Cancer Research UK research nurse is asking local people to ‘put the drinks on ice’ in January to help raise money for the charity.
Jackie McGee from Derry has first-hand experience as to the importance of research in her role as Cancer Research UK research nurse for Oncology and Haematology, but also closer to home, as she watched her father and sister-in-law battle the disease.
Dryathlon is Cancer Research UK’s popular fundraising campaign which invites social drinkers to take a month-long break from alcohol and Jackie, who works in Altnagelvin hospital, is encouraging people to ditch the drink in January and raise money for life-saving research.
An impressive 1,816 people in Northern Ireland took in the Dryathlon 2015 challenge, raising a fantastic £153,271 for research.
‘Dryathletes’ pledge to stay dry for a month and either get sponsored or donate the money they would have spent on alcohol to Cancer Research UK.
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 along the way.
And for those who think the one month challenge sounds a bit too daunting, there’s the ‘tipple tax’ – if a Dryathlete falls off the wagon they can donate a £20 penalty to Cancer Research UK.
Jean Walsh, Cancer Research UK spokesperson for Northern Ireland said, “We are thrilled that Jackie is encouraging people to say ‘cheers’ to the challenge and take part in Dryathlon in January.
“Despite what people might think - going dry doesn’t have to be dull. We’re asking people to give up the sauce, not their social life, and there are plenty of fun ways to enjoy 31 hangover free days.
“So whatever tickles your fancy this New Year; from mischief making to cake baking, learning to knit or an excuse to get fit, we’re encouraging people to jump abroad the sober express - whilst raising money to help beat cancer sooner. Every pound raised by our Dryathlete heroes will help fund the charity’s life-saving research.” To sign up visit www.dryathlon.org