Grove House fundraiser meets Queen as part of Olympic torch relay

COMMUNITY fundraiser for Iain Rennie Grove House Hospice Care (IRGH), Ruth Bendle was introduced to the Queen at Windsor Castle last week.

Ruth had been chosen as one of the 8,000 torchbearers across the country to take part in the Olympic Torch Relay in Herts earlier this month.

Ruth, 26, who lives locally was overwhelmed when her good friend, Martin Pezet, nominated her to take part in the nationwide relay.

He explained: “In the years I have known Ruth, she has bravely dealt with more than most people do in a lifetime. While at University at only 20 years old Ruth, along with her sister, was diagnosed with a rare form of stomach cancer which had taken her father only two years previously. Several other members of her family had also been taken by the aggressive disease.”

Martin continued, “Not only did Ruth undergo radical life-saving surgery, she came through it with such admirable strength of character and now regularly gives up her time to help others to face their own battle against the disease. Ruth’s ability to face up to the difficult challenges life has thrown at her never ceases to amaze me.”

Ruth’s own father was cared for by IRGH during the final weeks of his illness and now Ruth works full-time at the hospice raising funds to ensure that every patient in this area can receive the care they need at the end of life.

Ruth was one of just eight Olympic Torchbearers chosen from across the UK invited to meet the Queen. Ruth said: “I was so excited to have been invited to Windsor Castle, I have never done anything like this before. The Queen was quite lovely and made time to talk to each of us; she seemed really interested in why we were there. I even managed a little curtsey without falling over!”