Family undertakes fitness challenge in memory of former Lancaster University professor

A family of four are each taking on a fitness challenge to raise money for St John's Hospice as a tribute to a much-loved dad, father-in-law and grandad.

Thursday, 6th May 2021, 3:45 pm
Les Smith with his daughter Christine.

Christine Davies' dad Les Smith sadly died from Myeloma and Parkinson's Disease just after Christmas at the age of 77.

And now Christine, 49, her husband Nigel, 53, and two children, Harry, 16, and Milly, 13, are embarking on different challenges as part of a family team they have formed in memory of him.

Les was a former professor at Lancaster University and Christine spent her teenage years growing up in Lancaster, attending Our Lady's High School.

Les Smith.

Both Les and his wife Rose, who he is survived by, then moved to Cumbria, where they spent many happy years together.

As well as St John's Hospice in Lancaster, which kindly arranged care for Les at his home in the Lake District in his final few weeks, they are also raising money for Myeloma UK, which is carrying out much-needed research to try to find a cure for the rare blood cancer.

Kicking off their family challenges is Christine, who next month will be running her first ever trail run - 28k starting in Kendal and finishing on the shores of Lake Windermere in Ambleside. The route will take her over the Garburn Pass.

She is then handing over the family baton to Harry and Milly, who are swimming a mile and embarking on a 25k bike ride respectively.

And finally, Nigel will be taking part in his first ever half-marathon in September.

"We miss dad terribly and we wanted to raise some money in memory of him, " said Christine, who now lives with her family in Bedfordshire.

"Charities have been badly hit during the pandemic and we thought it would be nice to help two smaller ones who are close to our hearts.

"We will be forever indebted to St John's Hospice for their help in dad's final few weeks. Without their kindness and help arranging home care, we wouldn't have been able to fulfill his and my mum's wish for him to die at home.

"There is currently no cure for dad's cancer and so we wanted to also raise some money for Myeloma UK.

"He was a much-loved dad, father-in-law and grandad who we were all very close to and he has left a gaping hole in our lives, which is why we have formed Team Family Davies. The donations we receive will be split equally between St John's Hospice and Myeloma UK.

"We have many wonderful memories of him which we will cherish forever."

If you would like to donate, go online here.