Ray’s marathon dash to raise cancer charity cash


The Covid-19 pandemic has hit the country’s nursing and care homes hard, but despite the challenges there have been countless inspiring stories of people overcoming adversity and helping others.

Now one Sheffield nursing and care home is celebrating its own covid hero who has helped to raise cash for a cancer charity with a marathon sponsored fundraiser.

Totley nursing and care home resident Ray Degrussa, who has cerebral palsy, was determined to raise cash to help Macmillan Cancer Care when a friend died from the disease earlier this year.

Ray, 69, has lived at Valorum Care’s Mickley Hall nursing and care home for 17 years and decided to complete circuits of the home in his powered wheelchair and ask staff, residents and visitors to sponsor him.

It took Ray four hours to complete the 20 laps – and, thanks to the generosity of sponsors, his fundraiser has boosted Macmillan’s coffers by more than £270.

Mickley Hall volunteer and activities co-ordinator David Tagg said: “What a superb effort from Ray. Twenty laps of a nursing and care home doesn’t sound a lot, but believe you me it was a big deal for Ray. Anyone who has ever used a powered wheelchair will know they are not the easiest thing to get around in, and with all the twists and turns of the hall’s corridors it took a great deal of skill and determination on Ray’s part to complete the 20 laps.

“Thankfully he had the whole team of Mickley Hall staff, as well as residents and visitors, cheering him on. A huge cheer and round of applause went up as he crossed the finish line – everyone was so proud of him and it really brought a smile to everyone’s faces.

“Ray is part of the family here at Mickley Hall, having lived here for 20 years. He’s quite a character who is always keeping us entertained with his fundraising ideas. He even suggested being locked up in a prison cell for charity once for 24 hours – but he’s not got round to realising that ambition just yet!”

David added: “The last year has been really hard for staff and residents in all our nursing and care homes and something like this just gives everyone a lift. Residents have sadly had to miss out on a lot of the usual trips out and activities so Ray’s fundraiser gave us all something to get behind.

“The people who live in Valorum Care schemes like ours may have a disability but they want to achieve things in life like everyone else. It’s our job just to help facilitate things like that and help people realise their ambitions.

“Ray is always busy doing something – whether it’s his involvement with a local “barber shop” singing group or making music on his computer – there’s never a dull moment!”


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