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South Wales sisters take on 20 challenges for ‘Macmillan for 2020’ in their mum’s memory

Two South Wales sisters have pledged to do 20 challenges for 2020 for Macmillan to mark 20 years since they sadly lost their mother to breast cancer.

L-R: Rachel Lewis, Verity Pyke, Emily Pyke, Lauren Turner and Theo Pyke

Sisters Verity Pyke, of Cardiff, and Lauren Turner, of Bridgend, want the public’s ideas for their 20 fundraising challenges for Macmillan Cancer Support in memory of their mother Susan Turner, who sadly died in 2000.

So far, the pair’s 20420 challenges include a family climb up Pen-y-Fan, a zipwire and climbing the O2 Arena in London.

And their challenges will finish with a skydive, where the sisters will face their fear of flying!

Verity Pyke and Lauren Turner family photo

Teacher and mother-of-two Verity, 36, said: “Mum died not long after Mother’s Day and so the anniversary and Mother’s Day being close always made it a more difficult time.

“Since becoming a mum myself this has changed a little, but I still feel mixed emotions as I can’t help thinking about my relationship with my children and how sad I am my mum never met them as well as all the things I never got to experience with her.

“With the 20th anniversary coming up next year, I suggested to Lauren it may be nice to commemorate it in a positive way instead of it being dreaded with sadness.

“Things tend to escalate when we get together and with it being the 20th anniversary in the year 2020 we decided to try and raise as much money as we could in her memory.

“We decided to let people donate money to challenge us with our last challenge being the biggest we could think of!”

As well as fundraising challenges, the sisters are also planning to volunteer at Amelia Trust Farm, which their mother loved.

They have chosen to raise money for Macmillan as the charity supports people living with cancer and the loved ones around them.

Lauren, 34, a trainee quantity surveyor from Brackla, said: “My mum was diagnosed with breast cancer which spread to her bones and she passed away when I was 15 years old.

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“This had a massive effect on me, spending most of my teenage years seeing my mum’s health worsen and then facing life without her has been very tough.

“The biggest thing that got me through was the support of my family and friends.

“Celebrating mum’s life with them and sharing stories about her I think is the perfect way to see in next year which will be our 20th year without her.

“Often you find yourself focusing on the negatives of not having mum with us but I am looking forward to celebrating the time we did have together and raising money for a good cause.”

The sisters are paying for the 20 challenges themselves with all donations going to Macmillan.

They have set up a Facebook group for their 20420 challenge, where people can donate towards their challenges and also share their stories.

Verity added: “When someone dies in many ways it never gets easier, but we can choose to celebrate the life they had and remember them with love and affection.

“This was the best way we knew how to honour our mum and feel close to her, even after 20 years.”

Richard Pugh, Head of Services for Macmillan Cancer Support in Wales, said: “Macmillan would like to say a huge thank you to Verity and Lauren for taking on these challenges so we can be there for people with cancer and their loved ones.

“Macmillan is here to help everyone with cancer to live their life as fully as they can thanks to incredible fundraisers like Verity and Lauren and anyone who needs our support can call us free on 0808 808 0000.”

People can challenge Verity and Lauren, or donate towards their challenges, by visiting www.justgiving.com/20420.

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