A SECRETARY has proved she has the bottle to be a true charity champion after raising more than £2,000 for Cancer Research UK in memory of her dad.
Now Hazel Wood, who grew up in Webheath, is calling on armchair athletes to go for a gold medal of their own by giving up the booze for a month after the Olympics.
Cancer Research UK’s Dryathlon campaign invites social drinkers to take a month-long break from alcohol.
Dryathletes pledge to stay dry for a month and either get sponsored or donate the money they would have spent on alcohol.
Hazel took on the challenge last September, four months after her father, Trevor Heaton, was diagnosed with lung cancer.
The 40-year-old said her dad had found the idea amusing because he knew his daughter liked a drink, but the retired Redditch carpenter died just days before the challenge began, leaving behind his wife Mary, three children, four grandchildren and three great grandchildren.
“Dad had a wicked sense of humour and he was joking to the end,” said Hazel. “Unfortunately the cancer had progressed too far for treatment so I couldn’t do much for him.
“I felt a bit like a spare part but when I found out about Dryathlon I thought this is something I can do.”
Hazel was determined to see through the challenge despite having to remain alcohol-free for Trevor’s funeral last September.
“I’d encourage anyone thinking of joining in this year to just do it. You get a lot of support online and it’s like being part of a community.”
Paula Young, from Cancer Research UK, said: “We hope Hazel’s story will inspire others to drop the drink in September and help us beat cancer sooner.
“We’re asking people to give up the sauce, not their social life, and there are plenty of fun ways to enjoy 30 hangover-free days.”
For further information visit dryathlon.org.