Celebrities and cancer survivors are swapping dry land for the waterways around Chester in an epic canoe challenge to raise money for Stand Up To Cancer.
TV presenter Anthea Turner, Judge Rinder, actress and presenter Natalie Anderson, TV and radio presenter Jake Humphrey and You Tuber Jack Maynard will all be in Chester to begin the first leg of the charity fundraising event which sees celebrities team up with cancer survivors each day as part of a five-day canoe challenge across the North West.
Starting in Chester on Monday, September 25, the 120-mile route will take in the waterways of Chester and Manchester before culminating at Liverpool’s Albert Dock on Friday, September 29.
The celebrities will partner with the paddlers, including Merseyside testicular cancer survivor David Sing and breast cancer survivor Helen Weller from London - each day to help them reach the finish line.
Other celebrities taking the oars in the challenge later in the week include Hollyoaks actors Anna Passey – who plays Sienna Blake – and Rory Douglas Speed who plays Joel Dexter, TV personality Michelle Heaton, Gogglebox star Nikki Tapper and TV presenter and model Amy Willerton.
The challenge is in aid of Stand Up To Cancer, a joint fundraising campaign from Cancer Research UK and Channel 4, which aims to speed up the translation of incredible scientific discoveries into innovative cancer medicine, tests and treatment.
As the countdown starts to the challenge, men and women across the Chester can show their support by donating online at www.standuptocancer.org.uk/canoe.
Members of the public can also cheer the canoers on as they travel down the Shropshire Union Canal and go past The Cheshire Cat in Christleton and the Shady Oak, in Tarporley, before finishing in Middlewich.
TV presenter Anthea Turner said: “I’m delighted to be supporting this brilliant challenge for Stand Up To Cancer. Meeting all the paddlers who’ve experienced cancer first-hand is going to be really inspirational and I’m so happy to be joining David in his canoe. He is undertaking a heroic challenge and I’m excited to be a part of it and help raise funds for cutting-edge research.
“Cancer doesn’t discriminate and too many lives are cut short by this devastating disease. I’m calling on men and women in my home city of Stoke-on-Trent, and all across the UK, to get behind us and join the rebellion. We need to act now and help fund the game-changing research that will save lives.”
Cancer Research UK’s spokesperson for the North West Alison Barbuti said: “We are delighted that so many celebs are picking up her paddle and supporting such an epic challenge for Stand Up To Cancer.
“The Great Canoe Challenge aims to inspire people across the North West to join the rebellion against cancer and raise funds for life-saving research. Our team of heroic paddlers and army of celebrity supporters are set to power their canoes towards the finish line.
“We’re calling on people to show their support and help fund game-changing research. Money raised will fund cutting-edge research that accelerates new cancer treatments and tests to UK patients to ultimately save more lives. One in two of us in the UK will develop cancer in our lifetime, so now is the time to act.”
Since it was launched in the UK in 2012, Stand Up To Cancer has raised more than £38million to fund over 40 clinical trials and research projects.
These include the development of the ‘chemo package’ to deliver treatment at the best time for the patient; testing arsenic as a weapon to make cancer implode and using viruses to seek and destroy cancer cells.
This autumn Channel 4 will once again bring the brightest stars from show business together in a dedicated season of Stand Up To Cancer programming.
To support Anthea, Judge Rinder, Michelle and their fellow paddlers on the Great Canoe Challenge and donate £5 or £10, text CANOE5 or CANOE10 to 70404** or donate online at www.standuptocancer.org.uk/canoe.