This year’s Slide On is sponsored by H&A Mechanical Services Ltd, whose distinctive green and white vans are well-known around Derry as they are contractors for social housing in the city.
For one of the Managing Directors, Dennis Haskins, there is a very personal reason for supporting the work of Cancer Research UK, as his wife Marian passed away in February, aged just 58.
Speaking to the ‘Journal’ he said, “Marian was a very inspirational woman to a lot of people. She never complained throughout her cancer treatment.”
Diagnosed with breast cancer six years ago, Marian fought back and was cancer-free for five years. Unfortunately in 2014 the cancer returned.
Dennis explained, “It had spread to her bones and her brain, and she passed away a short time later.
“Thankfully, she was here to see our son Gareth married in June 2013 and the birth of his child Grace, in November 2014.
“We have three children, Nicole, Wendy and Gareth, and seven grandchildren, and thankfully Marian’s death has brought us all closer together. We had 32 very happy years together and I was very privileged to have her as my wife.”
A lot of the H&A staff will be taking part in Slide On. “H&A employ 320 people. We all know, directly or indirectly, of someone affected by cancer. We want to help bring forward the day when all cancer will be cured. So we’re taking a bus to Derry for Slide On and a number of staff are taking part. The rest will be willing spectators and we’re all looking forward to making a day of it.”
Anyone wishing to register for Slide On can go online to www.cruk.org/SlideOnDerry or visit the information booth which will be in the Richmond Centre every Saturday in August from 11.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m.