TWO brothers raising money in memory of their mum have almost hit their £10,000 target after braving the icy North Sea waters.
Richard and Nick Parker aimed to raise the cash for Macmillan Cancer Support in memory of mum Gillian, who died of breast cancer 30 years ago.
The pair, of Easington Village, launched their One in a Gillian campaign in March last year, and are now just £500 short of their total, after completing a series of challenges.
The latest feat saw them jump into the sea for the Boxing Day Dip at Seaham. They were joined by 19 daredevil friends, and raised £4,500 in sponsorship.
Richard, 43, said: “It’s just fantastic that we’ve raised so much money. It means we’ll probably re-adjust our target.
“It was humbling to see so many of our friends and family all jumping into the North Sea to help our cause, as they’ve all been raising money through sponsorship.
“We want to raise as much money as we possibly can for Macmillan Cancer Research and this has boosted our efforts significantly, so we’re thrilled to bits.”
Richard and Nick, 36, will round off their challenges by trekking 100 miles along the Great Wall of China in April.
They have ensured that every penny of the money raised will go directly to their chosen charity, after paying £1,700 each, needed to cover the cost of their Asian expedition.
Richard will turn 44 this year, the age his mum was when she died, and said it makes their ambitious fund-raising effort all the more poignant.
Gillian, a well known magistrate and Easington parish councillor, died in December 1984.
Richard, said: “It has only really dawned on me in recent years, now that I’m approaching 44, that it’s no age to die. I was 14 when she died, and I remember thinking at the time that was quite old.
“Now I’m reaching the same age, I’ve realised she wasn’t at all.”
He added: “She was taken from us well before her time, and now we’re approaching her 30th anniversary, we want to do our bit to raise money for the people who helped make her final days as comfortable as possible, and continue to help families suffering from this evil disease.”
Nick, said: “The number of people diagnosed with cancer continues to grow every day and the research, development and support Macmillan provides cannot be underestima- ted.
“We want to add our support and pay another fitting tribute to our mother’s name by raising this cash and helping families that are affected by cancer.”
For those who want to show their support to One In A Gillian, the next event is an afternoon tea on Sunday, January 19, in Easington Village, from 3pm to 5pm.
To make a donation, or for more information, visit www.oneinagillian.org.