‘Tena Ladies’ raise £1,200 for hospital charity - dressed as carrots and a rabbit
A man has thanked a group of friends who dressed up as six carrots and a rabbit to raise funds for charity in aid his name.
Nick Challenger was diagnosed with Hodgkin Lymphoma, an uncommon form of cancer affecting vessels and glands throughout the body.
Six of his friends, who call themselves the Tena Ladies, have taken on a hike to raise money for Sheffield Hospitals Charity in his name.
The ladies completed a 15 mile walk in seven hours and have raised a total of £1,200 so far for the charity.
Nick said: “The diagnosis totally knocked the wind out of my sails. Through it all I had such great support from all my friends and family.
“The Tena Ladies even supplied me with a hamper to help me through treatment, with a scattering of carrot products. Carrots are our mascot, don’t ask.
“We had weekends away and nights out to help me with the treatment, and the girls were always there to support me and my husband John.”
Rachel Habergham was just one of the Tena Ladies on the hike.
She said: “We were all devastated when we heard Nick’s news. He had been ill for a while, but I don’t think any of us believed it was cancer.
“This shock quickly turned into finding ways we could support Nick and John, a personalised chemo basket was one of our first deliveries. Tena Ladies started as a name for our quiz team and several years later it’s still with us.
“We always wanted to do something to say our personal thank you for the care Nick got and show him how much he means to us.
“None of us are runners so we thought a walk that includes important places in Nick’s life and journey with cancer was a good way to show this.
“We started at the hairdressers where Nick worked, calling at Nick’s house and his parents, and then took on the long slog to Hallamshire where Nick ended up spending so much of his time.”
Nick has now received the all-clear.
He said: “There are no words to express how I felt when I heard them say ‘your scan is clear, go and enjoy your life’. With spending so much time in hospital -12 months of going up to four times a week – you become very close to the nursing team and in a strange way I miss going to see them.
“But, six months after my transplant I finally feel fit and ready to go back to work. It’s amazing what the Tena Ladies are doing and I am very grateful towards all my friends and family who have raised so much money for Sheffield Hospitals Charity.
“The Tena Ladies are a crazy bunch and there’s always carrots involved so seeing them walk through the streets of Sheffield dressed as carrots is no surprise to me.”
Rachel added: “As you can imagine, there are no words to describe how we felt when Nick got the all clear that the cancer was gone. It’s safe to say there were lots of tears.”
The Tena Ladies are not the only people who have raised funds, or will raise funds, for Sheffield Hospitals Charity in Nick’s name.
His nephew Chris Challenger completed a sky dive, while another friend of his is preparing to run three 26 mile marathons along with a 40 mile marathon.
Nick said: “They all say the same thing, that it will be nothing compared to what I’ve been through.”
Sheffield Hospitals Charity helps patients being treated for almost every condition across all the Sheffield Teaching Hospitals sites. The charity invests over £2 million a year in patient and family support.