Belfast student raises over £1k for cancer charity

A generous teaching student from Belfast has raised over £1,000 for a charity close to her heart after taking on a gruelling running challenge throughout February.

Thursday, 4th March 2021, 11:58 am

Grace Rainey (24) ran 100km over the month to raise funds for the Friends of the Cancer Centre charity.

Grace, who is currently studying to obtain a PGCE at Ulster University’s Coleraine campus, balanced her running challenge with her academic work. She raised a total of £1,145 for the worthy cause.

The former Magee campus student was inspired to take on the kindhearted effort after a number of her relatives were recently treated for cancer.

Grace and Denis Rainey.

Grace’s mum, Louise, was diagnosed with breast cancer in January 2020 and underwent chemotherapy and radium treatment last year. She still is on daily medication and has to get regular injections, but is on the road to recovery.

Grace’s great-aunt Marilyn passed away this January after battling ovarian cancer since 2017. She had received treatment at Belfast City Hospital.

Also, Grace’s grandmother Ann underwent cancer treatment during lockdown and also in the summer of 2017, both at the City Hospital.

Commenting on her fundraising initiative, Grace said: “I wanted to do this to help people who have been impacted by cancer. It’s a terrible illness and I wanted to offer some support.

“Over the last year, my family has been impacted by cancer. It was a tough time and the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown made it even worse.

“When I heard about the ‘100km Your Way Challenge’ I decided it would be a good way of trying to help other people who are facing the same problems that my family faced.

“My dad Denis ran the majority of the distance with me. He was a great encouragement. Thank you to everyone who donated to my challenge. It’s been a tough year for charities to get funding. Hopefully the money I’ve raised can help other people who have been diagnosed with cancer.”

Her father, Denis, added: “I’m really proud of Grace for taking on this charity effort. I wanted to support her as it was being done to help people like my wife and my mother.

“We both enjoyed going on the runs around parks close to our home, including Musgrave and the Lagan Towpath. We started doing 4km, built it up to 5km and then were doing 6km distances. We plan to continue running together.”

Grace’s mum, Louise stated: “I’m proud of Grace and Denis for taking on the challenge. The Friends of the Cancer Centre offers support to people who have been diagnosed with cancer.

“I received fantastic support from the medical staff at the City Hospital during my treatment. I can’t thank them enough.

“The Friends of the Cancer Centre charity has been hit hard over the past year, so hopefully this money will go some way to providing their vital services.”

Friends of the Cancer Centre aims to enhance the quality of patient care and support through its life-changing and life-saving work which includes funding additional nurses, supporting local research and providing practical support, such as financial grants, which help families through a difficult time.

Ana Wilkinson, head of fundraising at Friends of the Cancer Centre, said: “I would like to say a huge thank you to Grace and Denis for taking on the 100km Your Way Challenge and raising so much money to support the work of Friends of the Cancer Centre.

“Times are really hard for everyone at the moment, and for people with cancer it has been even more difficult with added worry and anxiety at an already stressful time.

“As Friends of the Cancer Centre does not receive any government funding, the charity relies entirely on the generosity of the local community.

“It has been incredibly challenging to raise funds, as events have had to be postponed or cancelled and people haven’t been able to support the charity by holding their own events.

“This means that we have only been able to continue this vital work for families in Northern Ireland, thanks to the generosity and kindness of people like Grace and Denis. We simply couldn’t continue our vital work without them.”

----

Click here to read ‘Battling cancer was gruelling but today I am happy and you can be too’

--

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this article. We’re more reliant on your support than ever as the shift in consumer habits brought about by Coronavirus impacts our advertisers. Please consider purchasing a copy of the paper. You can also support trusted, fact-checked journalism by taking out a digital subscription of the News Letter.