A boat race is set to take place in memory of a former journalist who lost his battle with leukaemia at the age of 26.
Richard Woolley, who had worked as reporter and then sub-editor at Derbyshire title the Ripley and Heanor News and was previously a reporter at the Matlock Mercury, died in 2009 after chronicling his experiences of the disease in a book, Leukaemia – My Marathon for Love.
His father Mike Woolley, together with NHS Blood and Transplant, is calling on people to help others in his memory by taking part in a charity boat race at Rotherham’s Rother Valley Country Park on Saturday June 9.
The event, which will see teams take to the water in Chinese dragon-themed boats, will raise funds for Leukaemia and Lymphoma research and the Anthony Nolan Trust.
As Richard’s treatment saw him receive many blood and platelet transfusions, NHSBT is also hoping that competitors will consider signing up as blood donors on the day.
Existing blood donors are also particularly welcome to take part and perhaps set up their own team. Anyone interested can enter as part of a team or as an individual and the team can be formed later to make up a crew.
Mike said that Richard received transfusions during his treatment and was thankful to donors.
Said Mike: “Without the goodwill of blood donors he would have had no hope at all.”
Following Richard’s death a fund was set up for leukaemia charities called the Woolley Hat Fund.
Anyone interested in the event can contact Mike Woolley on 07729 733 955 or log on to http://www.richardwoolleyforgetmenot.co.uk.