A plucky teenager is in training for a tough physical challenge in memory of her mum who died from cancer.
Student Rachel Charles, 18, who works as a server at the Frankie & Benny’s restaurant at Eagles Meadow in Wrexham, will be tackling the Race for Life Pretty Muddy five kilometre course at Alyn Waters on Saturday, May 12.
She’s doing the endurance event on May 12 to raise money for the town’s Nightingale House where her much loved mother, Susan Charles, was looked after during her last days.
Rachel, who lives in Pentre Broughton, says she misses her mum, who passed away aged just 43 from ovarian cancer on August 9, 2013.
The hospice provides specialist palliative care services, completely free of charge.
Around 21 per cent of the cost of running the hospice comes from statutory funding – and they have to raise £2.8 million annually just to maintain the same level of service.
Rachel said: “Mum died in Nightingale House Hospice. I was only 13 and my brother, Ben, was only eight. It was terrible and left my dad, Anthony, Ben and I devastated. She was such a perfect mum and would do anything for anyone.
“She worked as a home care assistant with Wrexham County Borough Council, she went to people homes and helped them dress or get ready for bed that type of thing. She was just so caring; it was a perfect job for her.
“I knew she was very ill but didn’t know it was cancer, I just hoped she would get better. She told me herself at the hospice just before she died, she told me it was cancer and she was going to die. It was so hard.
“Nightingale House provides a vital service and it was great the way my mum was looked after.”
Rachel who is doing A-Level law, media and religious studies at Coleg Cambria and wants to study nursing at university, added: “We have stayed really close as a family. I’ve lost my grandparents but Ben and I have lots of aunties, uncles and cousins.
“I’m doing the Race for Life Pretty Muddy 5K in her memory with three friends. Chloe Ashley, who was close to my mum, as we have been friends since we were really small and Chelsea Humphreys and Chelsea Busby who are running in memory of Chelsea Humphrey’s grandmother who died recently.
“We set a target to raise £200 but we have already achieved that. Hopefully we can raise a lot more that will help in the fight against cancer. I have lots of support from my colleagues at Frankie & Benny’s.
“I love working at the Eagles Meadow restaurant, we have a great team and I love meeting our regular customers. It’s always busy and a fun place to work.”
Frankie & Benny’s deputy manager Laura Wynne was really proud of Rachel who was “a wonderful girl”.
She said: “Her mum would be so proud of her. She has worked at Frankie & Benny’s for a little over a year. She was so quiet and shy when she started but has really come out of her shell.
“I’m so impressed she is taking on the Race for Life in memory of her mum. I know the whole Frankie & Benny’s team is right behind her and supporting her. I’m hoping to go along on to Alyn Waters to support Rachel and her friends.”
Eagles Meadow manager Kevin Critchley wished Rachel well for the Race for Life event.
He said: “It’s so sad that Rachel lost her mum to cancer at such a young age. It’s wonderful to see that she is remembering her mum by taking on the Race for Life in her memory.
“I’m sure she will raised a really good amount of money for Cancer Research through the Race for Life event and I’m sure her dad will be as proud as her mum would have been.”
To make a donation go to https://fundraise.cancerresearchuk.org/page/rachels-race-for-life-1239 and to find out more about about Race for Life Pretty Muddy 5K please visit www.raceforlife.cancerresearchuk.org