Penny’s paddle for Myeloma UK

SHE’S been kayaking for a few years but was brought up by the sea in Cornwall and admits a great love of water and boats.

Now Penny Humphrey from Blackboys is practising her paddling.

Penny, 61, plans to travel by kayak 125 miles from the source of the Thames to the start of the river’s tidal stretch.

On June 8 Penny and her son Matthew will canoe from Lechlade in Oxfordshire to Teddington where the tidal stretch begins to raise money for Myeloma UK.

She told the Express: “Deciding to do this event is a personal challenge for me having gone through a journey with my sister Wendy, from when she was diagnosed, through her stem cell treatment and up to her untimely death at the age of 65. She put much effort into raising funds for this cause and through her name I would like to carry this forward.”

Penny explained: “I can’t remember where or when this idea of paddling came to me but on a dreary winters’ day I was looking out of the window at my idle kayak and remembering the ‘Ouse Cruise’ paddle which I did a couple of years ago from Barcombe to Newhaven. I didn’t know then my fellow-paddlers would be Eastbourne firefighters and two young fundraising girls from St Wilfrid’s Hospice. They were all very fit and I’m not so young. However it was a great day and I made it with some encouragement.”

To get fit for this long trip Penny has joined the Isenhurst Health Club at Cross in Hand, has been given tips and a fitness regime and is practising paddling from Shoreham up the Adur and along the Ouse. She explains once rare multiple myeloma is now increasingly common and diagnosed in younger people. It is not curable but can be treated and funding is needed for research, information packs and support groups for patients and families. To help ring Penny on: 01825 890346 or visit: www.justgiving.com/Penny-Humphrey