Ann Cross, a retired teacher from Gosforth, splashed out to raise funds for the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation by organising an Aqua Challenge at her local gym.
The challenge, 45 minutes of aqua aerobics at David Lloyd in Newcastle, was a first for many of the participants, including Ann’s husband Paul, and raised £1,308 for the cancer charity Sir Bobby launched in 2008.
It is a cause which is very close to Ann’s heart. Both she and her husband have personal experience of cancer and her brother-in-law, Tim Cooke, died from oesophageal cancer aged just 59.
Tim was a patient in the Sir Bobby Robson Cancer Trials Research Centre at the Northern Centre for Cancer Care and Ann says the extra time they gained through his treatment is something her family will always be thankful for.
Ann says: “Tim’s treatment included a trial cancer drug and that helped win him an extra year. We’re all so grateful that he had the opportunity to try something new at a time when his options were so limited.
“During that last year Tim and my sister Jane married. It was precious time we would not have had without the drug trial at the Sir Bobby Centre.
“It’s a very positive thing when everyone’s pulling together to raise money for charity and especially when you can really see there’s a need for the funding. David Lloyd kindly gave us the facilities free of charge and everyone was so generous and enthusiastic.
“It really was a special charity event and the money raised will help people when they most need it.”
Lady Elsie recently met up with Ann to find out more about her fundraising efforts and to thank her on behalf of the charity.
She says: “I was very pleased to meet Ann. She’s put so much energy into raising money for the Foundation through this event and we’re glad that it all worked so well.
“Aqua aerobics is not something I’ve tried but Ann’s so enthusiastic about it maybe I should. We’re very grateful to everyone involved and will make sure the money raised is put to the best possible use.”