This is for our dad! Flintshire brothers go bog snorkelling in cancer fundraiser

Reporter:

Amy Sargeson

Two brothers took part in “one of the world’s most bizarre sports” in honour of their dad who has terminal cancer.

Joshua and Ben Hughes, from Rhosesmor, visited Llanwrtyd Wells, to take part in a fundraising challenge with a difference – the World Bog Snorkelling Championships.

News about the competition has spread far and wide, with hundreds of participants taking part.

It  has been described by the Lonely Planet guide book as one of the top 50 ‘must do’ things from around the world.

The brothers decided to take on the challenge in order to raise money in honour of their dad David Hughes, who has been battling pancreatic cancer for two-and-a-half years and was told the devastating news in January that it was terminal.

Joshua, David and Ben Hughes at the World Bog Snorkelling Championships in Llanwrtyd Wells

Their chosen charity is Macmillan Cancer Support.

Joshua described the charity as “amazing” and said it was “so supportive” with his dad and the family over what has been a difficult few years.

The 27-year-old said: “My dad has really benefited from all the work Macmillan do and we just wanted to give something back.

”The reason we chose the World Bog Snorkelling Championships is because my dad has been really good humoured throughout the past few years. It was such a shock when we found out in January and it has been hard for us all.

“He had a massive operation where they remove several parts of organs – part of his pancreas, intestines, lymph nodes and some of his stomach. Then he had to go through chemotherapy after that.

“We got our hopes up – as you do – and we thought he’d get the all clear. It’s all been a kick in the teeth really.

“He’s OK and carrying on with his chemo and he’s on palliative care at the moment to keep the cancer stable. Obviously chemo is quite rough but he is dealing with it so well. The scans show the cancer is stable but he is still terminal. We don’t know how long we’re dealing with at the moment.

“But we’re so grateful to Macmillan and I’m sure we’ll need even more support from them in the future.
We just wanted to acknowledge all the work they have done for us with this challenge and do something a bit quirky and different to raise money.

“As my dad has been so good humoured throughout, we wanted to do something in good humour for him.”

From the event, the brothers have so far raised £1,050 and are hoping for £1,150.

Joshua said if they surpassed £600 before the event he would take part in a ‘mankini’ and, unfortunately for him swimming through freezing water, the night before the Rhosesmor brothers found out they had already raised more than
£600.

Joshua said: “I was forced to keep to my word. It was a great incentive though for people to donate.”

The World Bog Snorkelling Championships is part of the World Alternative Games held every year in Llanwrtyd Wells and also includes stiletto races, belly flopping challenges, wife carrying and husband dragging races.

It has also been described by the Lonely Planet as the “coolest place to be” last year with thousands getting involved annually.

According to a spokesman from Visit Wales, the world record for bog snorkelling was set in 2014 by 33-year-old Kirsty Johnson, from Lightwater in Surrey, with a time of one minute and 22.56 seconds.

Ben finished in two minutes and 45 seconds and Josh completed the challenge in two minutes and 59 seconds – despite losing both his flippers during the race.

He added: “It was very hard work to get through it – a lot harder than we expected with it being so cold and pitch black down there.

“It was a huge challenge but we both completed it.

“It was great to do something different and a bit more out there to raise money for my dad and for Macmillan.”

The Rhosesmor brothers wanted to thank everyone who has supported them so far.

To donate to the cause visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/ joshuahughes

Email:

amy.sargeson@nwn.co.uk

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