An intrepid Harrogate-born rower is taking on an enormous challenge to support the charity that cared for her parents, who both had cancer.
Jo Moseley, known as the happy rower, is planning to row 1,000km on an indoor rowing machine, finishing with a marathon row of 42.195km, to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support.
With an end goal of £4219.50 - the same amount as the number of metres in a marathon - Jo hopes her efforts will go some way to say thank you for the care Macmillan gave to her parents.
Jo’s mum Barbara died of lymphoma at Harrogate District Hospital in December and her dad John had breast, bowel and skin cancer over the last seven years.
She said: “I started the challenge on what would have been my parents’ 58th wedding anniversary and will finish with the marathon on December 21, the first anniversary of my mother’s death.
“This is my way of thanking Macmillan for their support for our family over the years, with the message that no-one should face cancer alone.
“Mum was looked after beautifully and with such dignity and care in her final days. We couldn’t have asked for more kindness and attention and we are so grateful.”
Jo is, however, nervous for the challenge. Before last summer she hadn’t entered a gym for more than 20 years, so the marathon will certainly be a demanding test. But as a huge fan of the rowing machine, she is confident of her success.
“As you can imagine, very few people actually row marathons on the indoor rowing machine. In my age group there were just two in the UK in the 2012-2013 season, and only five in 2013-2014. It’s an exciting and demanding challenge which I love,” she said.
“When Mum died I wanted to do something unique as a challenge and rowing a million metres seemed unique.
“I’ve had lots of encouragement from family and friends. It keeps me going when I think of the task ahead.”
To support Jo, who has currently raised £2,000, go to www.justgiving.com/OneHappyRower