St Albans and Harpenden fundraisers step up for 2.6 Challenge in wake of London Marathon cancellation

PUBLISHED: 09:54 29 April 2020 | UPDATED: 09:54 29 April 2020

Cora Varshney,7,  from St Albans has been raising funds for The Brain Tumour Charity by completing a number of challenges over the course of 26 days. Picture: Alanna Varshney

Cora Varshney,7, from St Albans has been raising funds for The Brain Tumour Charity by completing a number of challenges over the course of 26 days. Picture: Alanna Varshney

Archant

The postponement of this year’s London Marathon meant many charities were set to miss out on millions of pounds worth of fundraising – however St Albans and Harpenden residents have been stepping up to do their bit with the 2.6 Challenge.

Anita and Billy taking on their 2.6 Challenge for Cardiac Risk Young. Picture:Steve CornmellAnita and Billy taking on their 2.6 Challenge for Cardiac Risk Young. Picture:Steve Cornmell

The challenge involves taking part in a range of activities based around the distance of the marathon, from running 2.6 miles to holding an online workout for 26 friends.

The Cornmell family from St Albans have been raising funds and awareness for Cardiac Risk in the Young, as 2020 marks the charity’s 25th anniversary.

Anita Cornmell, her husband Steve and three children Jo and Jenny, both 10, and Billy aged four, have been climbing the stairs in their house 20 times in one go every day.

The family are set to continue doing so until the children can return to their usual sporting activities.

Jo and Jenny, both aged 10, have been going up and down the stairs each day for the 2.6 Challenge, raising money for Cardiac Risk Young. Picture: Anita CornmellJo and Jenny, both aged 10, have been going up and down the stairs each day for the 2.6 Challenge, raising money for Cardiac Risk Young. Picture: Anita Cornmell

Anita first became involved with CRY when her dad tragically died of Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM) 11 years ago. She has since taken part in many fundraising initiatives for the charity.

She said: “My dad sadly passed away 11 years ago so my three children never got to meet him – but they know all about him and are so excited to be taking part!

“It feels great to be raising funds and awareness to support CRY’s vital work during these difficult times.”

Dr Steven Cox, chief executive of CRY added: “We will be with Anita and her family every step of the way as they endeavour to raise awareness and funds to help reduce the incidence of young sudden cardiac death. On behalf of everyone at CRY, I would like to say a big ‘thank you’ to the Cornmells.”

Justin Molloy ran 6.2k backwards around the Harpenden Cricket Field in aid of Sense. Picture: Courtesy of Justin MolloyJustin Molloy ran 6.2k backwards around the Harpenden Cricket Field in aid of Sense. Picture: Courtesy of Justin Molloy

Justin Molloy has taken a backwards approach to the challenge with by running 6.2k in reverse, starting from Harpenden Cricket Field on Sunday.

He was raising funds for the charity Sense, where he is the chair of trustees.

Sense supports people of all ages with complex disabilities, and like many charities, has launched an urgent appeal for funding amid the coronavirus crisis.

Justin said: “Proud to say that I completed my “6.2km Backwards run for the 2.6 Challenge.

Justin Molloy ran 6.2k backwards around the Harpenden Cricket Field in aid of Sense. Picture: Courtesy of Justin MolloyJustin Molloy ran 6.2k backwards around the Harpenden Cricket Field in aid of Sense. Picture: Courtesy of Justin Molloy

You may also want to watch:

“I was very lucky to have huge support from some well-spaced friends! Most importantly, I would like to say a huge thank you to the Sense charity carers who are working round-the-clock to help and care for their beneficiaries.”

Justin smashed his £250 target, and has so far raised more than £1,500. Donate at uk.virginmoneygiving.com/JustinMolloy

Cora Varshney from St Albans has been raising funds for The Brain Tumour Charity.

The seven-year-old was diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2018 and featured as a fearless fundraiser in the Herts Ad that same summer.

She has been thinking up challenges since returning from proton beam therapy in Manchester.

Although she is currently shielding at home with her family per government advice, Cora is determined to support an organisation that she says has helped her and her family.

So far she has completed challenges such as a 26 lap relay at home with her parents and younger brother, collecting 26 flowers from her garden to make a bouquet and swinging 26 times on her swing set.

She most looked forward to hula hooping 26 times in a single go.

The family set a goal for their team, Quaranteenies, of £500 on their JustGiving page and reached it within 10 hours of launching the challenge on April 26.

They have now raised their target and hope to raise even more money for The Brain Tumour Charity.

Mum, Alanna Varshney, said, “Cora has been through so much since being diagnosed two years ago this week.

“She has made it through 15 months of chemotherapy, three brain surgeries, and completed six weeks of proton beam therapy just as the lockdown was declared here in the UK.

“She has been really down about not being able to get back to regular life – school and seeing her friends – which she has missed dreadfully. In addition, so many of us feel powerless in the face of this pandemic, and we are no different. This challenge has given us something positive to turn to and provides us the opportunity to make a difference by raising money for brain tumour research.”

Cora’s and her family will complete 26 challenges over 26 days to raise funds for The Brain Tumour Charity.

To donate, go to justgiving.com/fundraising/the-quaranteenies-2-6-challenge.


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Herts Advertiser. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the Herts Advertiser