Losing a close friend at any age is difficult but it can be particularly hard to take when your friend is young and taken suddenly. When Hannah Alexander’s close friend Lauren passed away from cancer at just 26 years old she wanted to do something big to honour her memory and energy.
Hannah and her friends put their heads together and decided to take on 26 challenges in a year and raise money for Cancer Research. They contacted British Canoeing to see if any of our challenge routes might suit them.
It didn’t take long to find the perfect fit; the London Legacy Loop (our newest challenge route) is not too far from where the group are based in Buckinghamshire. The Loop is one of the shorter challenge routes, ideal for the group who say they haven't paddled much before but describe themselves as 'very sporty, with a get on with it mentality'. To top it off Moo Canoes, the canoe hire provider based at the start, rent cow print boats - perfect for Hannah and her friends who are farmers.
'On 12th June 2018, we lost our beautiful friend Lauren to an aggressive from of adenocarcinoma, she was just 26. Lauren was a beautiful, intelligent and a strong willed red head with the world at her feet. She lived life to the full and was loved by so many.
Lauren was diagnosed with cancer in May after becoming ill several months before. She lived just 3 weeks from her diagnosis. Although Lauren was a very strong and brave person, we can only imagine the fear she must of felt knowing that her life was coming to an end.
Losing Lauren has been truly heartbreaking for all of her friends and particularly her family. We have struggled to come to terms with how this disease can be so indiscriminate about whose lives it destroys and that Lauren was taken way before her time.
We are determined to help beat cancer in Laurens memory. We want to end the pain of those who are fighting, have fought and won, have fought and lost and for those loved ones left behind.
Our goal is to complete a total of 26 fundraising events, to hopefully finish the 26th at the London Marathon 2019, raising a total of between £8000-10000.'
Having received some maps of the route from British Canoeing Hannah contacted Moo Canoes and in no time their challenge was booked. Hannah and her friends will be taking to the water on August 11th as challenge 2 of 26.