NHS worker’s fundraising challenge in sister’s memory

PUBLISHED: 13:05 01 May 2020 | UPDATED: 15:15 01 May 2020

Sarah Lauchlan and Rachel Cowanl. PHOTO: Brain Tumour Research

Sarah Lauchlan and Rachel Cowanl. PHOTO: Brain Tumour Research


A key NHS worker is taking on 20 fundraising challenges throughout 2020 in memory of her police officer sister.

Darren and Anna Marshall. PHOTO: Brain Tumour ResearchDarren and Anna Marshall. PHOTO: Brain Tumour Research

As part of Team Anna, Rachel Cowan, has helped raise more than £25,000 for charity, with the coronavirus lockdown not stopping her aiming for more this year.

Her sister, Anna Marshall, was diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2011 and began a gruelling course of surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy before suffering two reocurrences of the disease.

The 31-year-old passed away in April 2014.

Mrs Cowan, of Gorleston, said: “I can’t believe Anna has been gone more than six years. I miss her every day. We were very close and spent a lot of time socialising together as we shared a lot of the same friends.

“Anna raised thousands for Brain Tumour Research after she was diagnosed with the biggest cancer killer of children and under-40s.

“A lot of people will remember the 12 hour swimathon in 2012 which involved 12 members of Norfolk Police Swimming and Lifesaving Team, of which she was a key member before she became ill, as well as hr husband Darren and our parents Helen and David Bent.

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“We are proud that, along with Anna’s efforts before she died, and those of friends and family since, more than £25,000 has been raised to date for Brain Tumour Research, which is the equivalent of enough to sponsor nine days of research at one of the charity’s Centres of Excellence. This year we are aiming for another day of research.”

Mrs Cowan has continued her sister’s fundraising efforts for Brain Tumour Research since her death, with the 20-20 challenges beginning with friends and family joining a New Year’s Day dip in the sea at Gorleston, where her sister was a lifeguard before joining Norfolk Police in 2006.

She said: “We were ticking along quite nicely with our plans and challenges until lockdown changed everything.

“A Wear a Hat Day party at the end of March had to be changed into an online photo competition, and April has seen a number of friends and family from Great Yarmouth and across the country, doing 30 minutes of exercises every day for 30 days, including running, walking and cycling, along with online PE care of Joe Wicks.

“During May, my friend Sarah Lauchlan from Scratby and I had planned to run the Vitality 10k in London but, with that cancelled, Sarah is going to do a virtual 10k locally and we are both taking part in Brain Tumour Research’s Stairway Challenge and encouraging others to join us.

“I am aiming to climb the equivalent of Mount Everest over the month which will involve completing over 100 flights of stairs each day.”

Mrs Cowan’s children, Melody, 3, and 21-month-old Zachary, will both be aiming to climb the height of Ben Nevis during the challenge.

The 35-year-old is a physiotherapist usually working with children in the community, and has been continuing to support patients during the Covid-19 outbreak with their ongoing therapy needs, as well as being redeployed on adult wards at the James Paget University Hospital.

To donate to the challenge, go to:

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