Brighton student helps start cancer charity’s ‘dryathlon’ challenge

Posted On 26 Dec 2013 at 6:53 pm

A business management student from Brighton is helping Cancer Research UK as they ask supporters to sign up as “dryathletes”.

Steve Welsh, 20, a Sussex University undergraduate, is already backing the “dryathlon” fundraising campaign and aims to stay “dry” by not drinking alcohol during January.

Cancer Research UK said: “Dryathletes pledge to drop the drink for a month and either get sponsored or donate the money they would have spent on alcohol to help beat cancer sooner.”

The charity wants people to sign up its new year fundraising campaign in time for Wednesday 1 January.

Mr Welsh said: “Taking on Dryathlon is going to be a bit of a challenge but it’s for a really worthwhile cause so I’m determined to stay committed throughout January.

“And let’s face it – it will be good for my liver.

“Everyone knows someone who’s been affected by cancer. My grandad survived bowel cancer but not everyone is so lucky so we all need to do our bit to help.”

Cancer Research UK  is asking men and women across Sussex to join the challenge.

Every hour about five people in the south east have cancer diagnosed although survival rates in Britain have doubled over the past 40 years.

Cancer Research UK scientists and researchers have been at the heart of that progress.

The charity said that it needed more funds and more supporters to bring forward the day when all cancers are cured.

It added: “That’s where dryathlon comes in.

“Supporters can register as individuals or set up a team and get their friends, family and colleagues involved to motivate each other.

“And for those who find the thought of 31 days off the sauce too daunting, there’s the ‘tipple tax’ which allows the dryathlete to donate a £20 penalty to compensate for falling off the wagon – particularly helpful for weddings, birthdays or those who just fancy a big night out.”

Cancer Research UK held its first dryathlon last year and was delighted by its success.

More than 33,500 people signed up across the country and helped to raise £4 million to help beat cancer.

Lynn Daly, Cancer Research UK spokesman for the south east, said: “I’m impressed that even hard-drinking students are taking on dryathlon.

“Steve and Liam are going to need plenty of resolve to make it through January, especially in the face of the ribbing they are anticipating from their mates.

“We’re hoping that other determined men and women will step up and join them to help beat cancer sooner.

“We’ll be supporting our dryathletes all the way with motivational tips on our website, Facebook and Twitter.

“It may be tricky for some to stay on the wagon but we have faith in the public.”

To take on dryathlon in January, visit www.dryathlon.org.

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