Trek of a lifetime for father and daughter team in memory of ‘real one-off’ Brian

Release Date: 04/08/2017

Trek of a lifetime for father and daughter team in memory of ‘real one-off’ Brian

A clinical support worker at The Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Hospital and his daughter are preparing to take on the challenge of a lifetime in memory of an old friend.

Stuart Royce, 51, who has worked in the Spinal Injuries Unit at RJAH for more than 30 years, will attempt to reach the summit of the largest free-standing mountain in the world – Mount Kilimanjaro, alongside daughter Jessica Royce, 26.

The father and daughter double-act fly out to Africa in mid-September and will spend five days trekking in a bid to reach the summit, and a further two to get down again, all in aid of Fight Bladder Cancer and the Severn Hospice.

They are taking on the epic pursuit in memory of their late family friend Brian Worrall, who died at the age of 54, in July 2015, after losing his battle to bladder cancer.

Stuart, who lives in Oswestry, said: “With Brian being such an extraordinary and resilient man, we felt it was only right that whatever we’d do to raise funds in his memory had to be something as special as he was. He was a real one-off.

“Brian suffered a spinal injury whilst serving in the Parachute Regiment in Belize, which ended his career. This left him partially paralysed having to adapt to living in a wheelchair. However, this didn't stop Brian, as he became heavily involved in wheelchair sports and swam for Great Britain in the Seoul Paralympics in 1988, where he achieved a silver medal.

“He then went on to coach the GB wheelchair rugby team and he was the European Development Officer for wheelchair rugby promoting the sport in Europe. He took the GB team to the Atlanta Paralympics in 1996.

“Brian was an inspiration to so many people and he and his family are dear family friends of mine and my family, so doing this for him feels right.”

Stuart said the challenge is also important in order to raise awareness for bladder cancer, as well as thank Severn Hospice staff for their support in Brian’s final days, when they assisted his family in making him feel as comfortable as he could.

Brian’s widow Anne Worrall, who has just retired from her post as Matron at the Oswestry-based hospital after almost 30 years of service, said Stuart and Jessica’s efforts to remember Brian “mean the world” to her family.

She said: “What Stuart and Jessica are doing is just amazing, it’s a truly fitting tribute to Brian and it’s also a great opportunity to thank Severn Hospice for the support they provided Brian and our family but also to raise vital awareness about bladder cancer

“What many people don’t realise is patients with a spinal injury have a higher risk of developing complications, such as bladder problems and it was through one of Brian’s various check-ups when the tumour was discovered.”

In a bid to drum up funds and awareness for the two charities, Stuart’s wife Gill and Anne have also organised a number of fundraising events including bake sales, car boot sales and a river boat cruise is also taking place on the Sabrina Boat in Shrewsbury on 1 September. Tickets cost £25 per person.

Meanwhile, Anne and Stuart are asking any businesses or individuals who can donate any prizes for that event to come forward. They can do so by contacting Anne by emailing anne.worrall@hotmail.co.uk or by emailing Stuart via stuartroyce@btinternet.com.

To sponsor Stuart and Jessica, you can do so via http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-web/fundraiser/showFundraiserProfilePage.action?userUrl=climb4bri



Back to News