ANN Gumery first decided to raise money for charity in memory of her son, David, who died aged four from a rare type of soft tissue cancer.
That was back in 1983 and although Ann and her family didn’t receive support from Macmillan Cancer Support at the time, she started working for the organisation, which is when she came across her first overseas challenge for the charity.
This involved a trek across the Sahara and led to her raising more than £10,000 for Macmillan.
Now, all these years later, Ann, now 61 and from Solihull has raised more than £50,000 for the cause and is the recipient of the British Empire Medal for her outstanding efforts raising money for people living with cancer.
“When my son David was ill, he had great care at Birmingham Children’s Hospital but no Macmillan help as there was very little at the time. When I learned more about what they do, I was determined to raise money in memory of David so others could get the fantastic support they offer.”
Ann started working for Macmillan in 2001 and it was during her induction that she came across the Sahara challenge.
“I really thought I would not be able to do it as I had previously tried to do a local walkathon and failed,” she said.
“But that made me more determined – and the rest is history!”
Since that first expedition in 2002, Ann has completed a further four overseas treks for Macmillan and two smaller walks in the UK, raising more than £50,000 for the charity.
It is this fantastic achievement that led to her being awarded the BEM in the Queen’s New Year Honours List.
She was nominated by her old manager, Scott, to mark what would have been David’s 40th birthday.
“I was incredibly surprised to get the award as I do not think I have done enough to warrant it, but my old manager thinks otherwise!” said Ann.
“I am truly humbled and touched to be recognised in this way.”
Macmillan Cancer Support, like so many charities across the UK, has been hugely impacted by the cancellation of thousands of fundraising events due to Covid-19.
To donate, volunteer or raise money call 0300 100 200 or visit macmillan.org.uk.