A father and his two daughters from South Wales have raised over £148,000 for Pancreatic Cancer UK after undertaking a 228-mile walk from Billericay in Essex to Barry Island in South Wales, to pay tribute to their mother and wife, Pia Eaves, who sadly passed away from pancreatic cancer last September.
Pia’s husband, Simon, and their two daughters, Rhiannon and Emilia, were joined by more than 100 friends, family and colleagues who walked with them at different stages of their route to show support and solidarity with the family. The route included approximately 100 hours of total walking time, which took between five and ten hours each day, traversing a wide range of terrain.
Colleagues from Capital Dynamics, the company where Simon is employed, also took part in simultaneous sponsored walks generating £51,670 – a number inspired by Pia’s birthday, May 1 1967. The walks took place at Capital Dynamics’ office locations around the globe, including London, Birmingham, Paris, Munich, Zug, Milan, Tokyo and New York.
Pia’s husband, Simon Eaves, said: “We are truly blown away by the support, generosity and well wishes we have received from everyone which has gone beyond anything we could have anticipated. Not only has it helped motivate us through every stage of our journey, but it has also given us the opportunity to share wonderful memories of Pia and remind us of how loved she was by everyone. We are extremely proud to have raised over £148,000 for Pancreatic Cancer UK, which was so essential to us during such a difficult time, and we’re sure that funding will go towards helping families like ours to have access to the support and treatment they need.”
Laura Sutton, Head of Mass Fundraising for Pancreatic Cancer UK, said: “We are beyond grateful to Simon, and all of Pia’s family and friends who have truly gone the extra mile to help us take on the deadliest common cancer. The phenomenal amount of money they have raised in her honour will help fund more vital research into a disease that have been neglected for too long. Pancreatic cancer survival has barely improved in 50 years. Their efforts will bring us a step closer to a desperately needed breakthrough and help spare other families the heartbreak of losing a loved one.”
Despite pancreatic cancer being such an aggressive form of cancer, it has only attracted around 2% of the U.K.’s cancer research budget. Less than 7% of people with pancreatic cancer will survive beyond five years in the U.K., according to Pancreatic Cancer UK, the charity which strongly supported Pia after her diagnosis.
Pia and her family grew up on Barry Island and were all avid fans of Gavin and Stacey, the hit TV series. As a teenager, Pia’s parents used to own “Marco’s Kiosk” where the character Stacey worked, so the show holds a very special place in their hearts. The walk began in the character Gavin’s hometown of Billericay on 20th April and ended at Marco’s Kiosk on Barry Island on 1st May – Pia’s birthday, and Pia’s and Simon’s wedding anniversary.
The family even received support from members of the Gavin & Stacey cast, including Ruth Jones, Mathew Horne and Steffan Rhodri who recorded video messages with their words of encouragement and support.
About Pancreatic Cancer UK
Pancreatic Cancer UK is taking on pancreatic cancer through research, support and campaigning to transform the future for people affected by the disease.
- We provide expert, personalised support and information via our Support Line (Freephone 0808 801 0707) and through a range of publications.
- We fund innovative research to find the breakthroughs that will change how we understand, diagnose and treat the deadliest common cancer.
For Pancreatic Cancer UK
Chris Gerrard, Senior Media Manager
07469 660 633
For Simon Eaves/Capital Dynamics
+44 (0) 7903 256182
Walk for Pia