Coventry and Warwickshire based charity Bethany’s Wish has announced a Bereavement Day event in order to reach out to parents who have suffered a tragedy.
Parents Angela and Alberto Polanco formed the charitable trust after the loss of their 8-year-old daughter Bethany, in October 2012, to a rare childhood cancer of the kidney known as Wilms’ tumour.
Looking to reach out to other parents experiencing a similar grief, the couple’s vision was made possible thanks to donations received by the family during Bethany’s fight, a story that touched many local supporters and also received the support of several celebrities, including Britney Spears.
Though the event 'Our Angels, Our Stars' is not being used for fundraising purposes, Ms Polanco has expressed her delight with the efforts supporters have continued to undertake. The latest fundraising endeavour was a coast-to-coast cycle ride from Whitehaven to Tynemouth, a distance of 160 miles across a mountainous route, completed by Amy Hardie, Katie Wright, Charlie Turner, Tony Rogers and Christopher Dulay over 3 days.
Fundraising participant Charlie Turner, a teacher from Coventry, was also able to involve his school tutor group in the attempt.
He says, “Raising funds and promoting awareness through the cycle ride has been a challenging but rewarding experience; as a teacher from Blue Coat school I enlisted the help of my tutor group, who between them also cycled the 163 miles to raise the profile of Bethany’s story which touched the hearts of many people and the charity is an excellent cause for the support it offers to families hit by tragedy.”
Angela Polanco comments: “The bike ride was truly amazing and I am very proud of all that took part and showed extreme determination and strength, all in the name of my beautiful daughter Bethany and helping others like her to smile. The youngest participant was only 14 so this in itself is an outstanding achievement.”
The Bereavement Day, to be held at the Ansty Hall Hotel, near Coventry, will include a memorial balloon release, as well as light refreshments.
Donations for the Bethany’s Wish bike ride can still be made here: mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/acktagainstcancer#.Ug6Q9NROMuM.facebook