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An Essex woman is attempting a gruelling world record in memory of her grandfather and to help raise money for Cancer Research UK.

Molly Gemmel (22), from Colchester, has been given the go-ahead by Guinness World Records to try and become the faster woman to climb Britain’s highest peaks while covering every mile between them on foot.

The former linguistics student lost her grandfather last summer to cancer and she is backing CRUK’s brand campaign for more life-saving research.

Molly started her ambitious fundraiser on May 24th, with her friends Archie Temperton (22) and Kasun Muna (22). The three friends hope to finish on June 8th but are battling atrocious weather conditions as they climb Ben Nevis in Scotland, Scafell Pike in England and Snowdon in Wales.

Molly and Archie are backing a Cancer Research UK’s campaign to help save more lives, as the charity fights back from the impact of the pandemic. The students are raising money along with a tireless army of fundraisers, volunteers and donors who help to fund life-saving research.

Molly said she’s highlighting a powerful new short film from Cancer Research UK, which underlines how everyone has a part to play in the fight against the disease.

It features the rallying call to arms: “One in two of us will get cancer in our lifetime*. All of us can support the research that will beat it.

It’s a sobering statistic, but Molly hopes her story and world record attempt will inspire people to make a difference and become a part of the solution to this devastating disease.

Molly added: “We have set ourselves a big challenge to not only climb the Three Peaks of the UK but to also navigate the 403miles between them on foot. We plan to complete the whole challenge in only 16 days which means we will be walking at least a marathon every single day and hopefully I will get a World Record for the fastest time for a female to do this challenge on foot.”

Molly added: “The reason that Cancer Research UK is my chosen charity is because my Grandfather, Nicholas Turner very sadly passed away from cancer last summer. He was aged 78 and had defeated cancer once before and he was having to try and fight it very bravely again. I was very lucky to be at home due to the pandemic and so I became one of his carers whilst he was still at home. This was without a doubt one of the toughest jobs that I have ever had to do, and so it seems fitting that I am raising money for Cancer Research UK by doing one of the toughest challenges I have ever had to do.”

Molly and Archie have already raised over £6k between them while their friend Kasun is raising money for MIND. Their fundraising page can be found here:

Molly continued: “My grandfather still managed to make us laugh when he could but it was very clear to me how much pain this awful disease was causing. What made it worse is that I was in charge of administering all of his different medications, nearly every hour of the day, and even with so many of them, not only was the pain relief not enough, but I also knew that none of the medications were actually providing the cure he wanted and needed and there was nothing else that I could do to help. By supporting this charity I really hope that Cancer Research UK can find a way to change this, so that in future, carers, parents, children and grandchildren can give their relatives a way to fight it.”

Archie added: “I lost one of my grandfathers before I was even born to leukaemia, and then both of my grandmothers died when I was 3 years old, one to multiple myeloma and the other to ovarian cancer. I’ve had several family friends pass away from these awful diseases, and far too many more suffer due to something which in this era of medicine we should be able to beat. I truly believe that with enough time and effort put into research we can beat it once and for all. I’m hoping that with any donations our team can raise, we can get that one step closer to the end goal.”

Patrick Keely, Cancer Research UK spokesperson for the East, said: “We are grateful to Molly and Archie for their support. COVID-19 has hit us hard, but we are more focussed than ever on our ambition of seeing 3 in 4 people survive their cancer by 2034.

“As a result of the pandemic, cancer is as urgent an issue now as it’s ever been. With so many people affected, we’re all in this together, so I hope that people across the region will follow in Molly and Archie’s footsteps and play their part. Every action – big or small – helps Cancer Research UK to ensure more people survive.”

In the East of England, around 36,800 people are diagnosed with cancer every year**.

Thanks to the generosity of its supporters, Cancer Research UK’s work into the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer has been at the heart of the progress that has seen survival in the UK double in the last 40 years.

Patrick added: “This past year proves, more than any other, the value of research and what can be achieved together. Just like science is our route out of the pandemic, science is our route to beating cancer.

“That’s why we want to harness the ‘people power’ of our incredible supporters, because the progress we make relies on every hour of research, every pound donated and everyone who gets involved.

“So, whether they give £2 a month, sign up to Race for Life, volunteer at our shops or pledge to leave a gift in their Will – with the help of people in Essex we believe that together we will beat cancer.”

Cancer Research UK was able to spend over £60 million in the East of England last year on some of the UK’s leading scientific and clinical research.