Ruth Hughes on how she and Friends Raised an Incredible £10,000

13 March 2018

With the support of family and friends, Ruth Hughes raised £10,000 for Yorkshire Cancer Research following the sudden death of her husband. In this blog post she explains more about her experience.

We began fundraising for Yorkshire Cancer Research last year in memory of my late husband Nigel Hughes who died suddenly in January 2017. Nigel worked for Community Pharmacy West Yorkshire as Head of Public Health and Engagement.

This involved working with Yorkshire Cancer Research to set up an initiative called ‘Wise Up To Cancer’ which aims to inform the public of cancer prevention, early signs of cancer and sign post them to appropriate health professionals for further advice or care. This campaign is now up and running successfully in pharmacies in West Yorkshire.

Ruth Hughes cheque presentation

Nigel Hughes

Losing Nigel has been a tremendous loss to myself, his two sons, his family, his friends and colleagues. He was an amazingly inspirational person who believed anything was achievable with the right frame of mind and attitude. So with this in mind, last year, with fabulous support from family and friends I completed the Yorkshire Three Peaks and the Great North Run.

Ruth Hughes 3 Peaks

I was joined for the walk by my two sons and Nigel’s wonderful work colleagues, who had organised the event and made the day possible. Everybody who took part completed the challenge in the allotted time of under 12 hours. It was an amazing day. The weather was varied, with rain and mist on Penyghent and Whernside. Finally, on our last peak, Ingleborough, we were rewarded with sunshine and fabulous views across to the coast and the Lake District.

Ruth Hughes Great North Run

The Great North Run was my first half marathon. Running with me were family and friends, some of whom were also completing the race for the first time. I crossed the finish line hand in hand with my twin sister in just over two hours. It was an emotional day and felt like a massive achievement.


Completing both these challenges were highlights of 2017. They helped me both physically and mentally at a time when I have felt great loss. Setting yourself challenges and goals gives you a sense of achievement and wellbeing. Sharing these experiences with friends and family is priceless.

So far, we have raised over £10,000 for Yorkshire Cancer Research to help towards funding its vital work for cancer prevention, treatment and support.

I will continue to fund raise for Yorkshire Cancer Research and will run the Great North Run again this year.

Lisa Trickett, Community Health Initiatives Manager at Yorkshire Cancer Research, said: “Nigel’s passion, enthusiasm and innovative ideas were invaluable in setting up Wise Up To Cancer in pharmacies. We are absolutely amazed and very thankful to Ruth, her sons and family and friends for raising £10,000 in Nigel’s memory. Most of all, we are glad that taking part in the challenges helped during a very difficult year. We wish Ruth best of luck in her further challenges this year.”

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