Sian skis for Simon and Anthony Nolan Trust
People across Shropshire came together to ski with all their might as part of a fundraiser organised by Urgent Care Practitioner Sian Wood.
Sian organised the 24-hour fundraiser, which was held at Shrewsbury Town Football Club and completed using ski machines, to raise money for the Anthony Nolan Trust following her close friend Simon’s Acute Myeloid Leukemia diagnosis.
Sian said: “Simon is in the middle of some really tough treatment, which is aiming to prepare him for a stem cell transplant which will save his life. He is an amazing friend, great husband to his wife Nia, and a wonderful father to his four daughters.”
The ‘Dam Strong’ fundraiser challenged teams to power away on the ski machines for an entire day, with the winners being those who skied the furthest.
And it came with an even more gruelling twist - skiers could only use the machine whilst their teammates held beer barrels above the floor!
At 2pm on December 3rd the challenge was complete after teams were pushed to their physical and mental limits for the 24 hours.
“We covered a total of 461,254 metres on the ski machines between December 2nd and December 3rd,” said Sian.
“It’s the equivalent of 13.6 times across the channel - in just 24 hours!
“Simon’s daughters saw us across the finish line which made that moment even more special.”
A total of four teams took part on the day, and Sian gave a special mention to the Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service after a fantastic effort from the team.
The event raised money for the Anthony Nolan Trust, the charity of Simon’s choosing.
Sian adds: “We initially wanted to raise money just for Simon and his family, to ease the financial burden of him being out of work and maybe raising enough to treat them to a family holiday when he was feeling up to it. He was having none of that!
“Instead, he requested we raise money for the Anthony Nolan Trust, which is a phenomenal charity specialising in stem cell transplantation.”
As well as raising much-needed funds for the charity, Sian hoped the event would increase awareness of stem cell transplants and had a ‘donor drive’ on-site where people could be swabbed and added to the register as a stem cell donor.
“A few of my friends and I worked on the donor drive during the fundraiser. We received amazing training from the Anthony Nolan Trust before the event so we could swab people correctly and add them to the donor register.
“People could come to us at any point during the 24 hours and we would swab them. In total, we signed up 18 potential stem cell donors which is just amazing!”
We are so proud of Sian and her efforts to raise money for such a fantastic cause in support of her friend’s illness. The JustGiving fundraiser is open until December 31st 2022 and you can donate here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/damstrong
We wish Simon all the best with his treatment and if you’d like to find out more about becoming a stem cell donor, please visit https://www.anthonynolan.org/help-save-a-life/join-stem-cell-register