Wed, 29 Jul 2020
A THATCHAM man will be embarking on a gruelling fundraising voyage in memory of his wife.
Ed Smith will be rowing across the Atlantic to raise money for Victoria’s Promise – a cancer charity that supported his wife Anna after she was diagnosed with the disease.
Anna Smith was diagnosed with bowel cancer which had spread to her liver and lungs.
Their daughter Alba was just six months old at the time.
After three rounds of chemotherapy and some radiotherapy, Anna lost her battle with cancer in June 2018, aged 38.
Despite being seriously ill, she managed to marry her husband and fit in a three-day honeymoon before her death.
Mr Smith said his was wife was “a true inspiration… a true fighter and left a legacy behind her.
“She had a motto that she lived by – ‘every day may not be good but there is good in every day’.
“She stuck by it.”
Mrs Smith was supported by Victoria’s Promise, which supports and empowers young women and their families through cancer and beyond.
Her husband worked as a firearms officer in the Thames Valley and Metropolitan Police Forces.
After supporting his wife through her battle with cancer, he now dedicates his time to fundraising for Victoria’s Promise.
He and three friends have formed Team Anna Victorious and will be joined by around 30 other teams taking part in the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge, widely regarded as the world’s toughest row, in December – even though they only first took to the water around six months ago.
Mr Smith said: “The journey starts a long time before setting off on the 3,000-mile journey from La Gomera to Antigua.
“Some say the hardest part is getting to the start line so having support at this stage is crucial.
“We are really looking forward to raising the profile and raising money for this amazing charity, Victoria’s Promise, who did so much for Anna and my family during her cancer diagnosis.”
The couple, who were both members of Crossfit in Aldermaston, raised £31,000 in a fundraising campaign for Macmillan Cancer Research and The Basing Unit – the specialist cancer unit in North Hampshire.
Once the crew set off from La Gomera they will encounter waves measuring up to 40ft high and have to deal with sleep deprivation.
They will row two hours on and two hours off, in excess of 1.5m strokes as a team, burning 12,000 calories a day.
Team Anna Victorious are being aided by Wiltshire-based marketing expert Maggie Robinson through her business, Smart Thinking Consultancy.
Mrs Robinson met Mr Smith and the rest of the crew at a business event and realised she could help.
She said: “After hearing Ed tell us all about his young family and how his wife’s life was tragically taken by cancer, I felt a need to help.
“Ed and his team have already put so much effort into training and raising money, but there is still a long way to go, so I felt I could offer support by using my marketing expertise and contacts to help spread the word and raise funds to get them to the start line and for Victoria’s Promise.
“Anna’s story and Team Anna Victorious are so inspiring, I was keen to offer the help that I could.”
Find out more about the challenge and Team Anna Victorious’ progress at https://annavictorious.co.uk/ where donations and sponsor opportunities can be made.