Half a million pound raised in Mary Collard’s memory

Mary Collard.

Mary Collard. - Credit: Sue Collard

A Worle family have become the first people to raise half a million pound for a cancer charity in memory of their daughter.

Sue, Andy and Arabella Collard. Picture: Mark Atherton

Sue, Andy and Arabella Collard. Picture: Mark Atherton - Credit: Mark Atherton

Sue and Andy Collard hit a £500,000 landmark total in their mission to raise money and awareness for Bone Cancer Research Trust at the weekend after a successful race night.

Mary died on January 1, 2012 after a battle with the disease and ever since Sue and husband Andy have been working tirelessly to raise funds and build awareness of the importance of early diagnosis.

Sue said her daughter, who would now be 19, wanted to be remembered and she hoped their efforts to raise awareness would mean ‘no other family has to go through what we went through’.

Sue added: “It all started back in October 2011 when Mary’s friend, Rhys organised a fundraising aquathon for her.

“He aimed to raise £150 but actually raised £15,000 and it has grown from there. The fundraising has gone from strength to strength.

“The events has always been so well supported and everyone has a great time, it was easy to just keep going.

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“We never thought we would raise this much, we just want to say a massive thank you to everyone for their continued support, without them this wouldn’t have been possible.”

The Collard family have held music festivals, an annual golf day at Worlebury Golf Club. Christmas parties and bedtime aerobics.

They have run the London Marathon and multiple half marathons in Mary’s memory, as well as organised cake sales and quizzes.

Sue added: “People have been going out of their comfort zones to do things they would not have done, for example non-runners running 10k, a half marathon or full marathons.

“When they think about why they are doing it, Mary’s memory spurs them on.”

The charity’s head of fundraising and communications, Mat Cottle-Shaw, said: “We would like to say a huge thank you to Sue, Andy and their family and friends for raising such an incredible amount of funds, the funds raised are helping us to develop new treatments and work towards finding a cure.

“Alongside raising an outstanding £500,000, Mary’s supporters have helped raise vital awareness of primary bone cancer, which is crucial to improving speed of diagnosis and in turn, improved patient outcomes.”