Udder pressure: Farmer's milking marathon raises £2,500 for cancer research and opportunity centre (From This Is Wiltshire)
Udder pressure: Farmer's milking marathon raises £2,500 for cancer research and opportunity centre
Farmer Gerald Beale has raised £2,500 for Cancer Research UK and the Devizes Opportunity Centre by spending 24 hours milking cows in the Devizes area.
Mr Beale, 65, from Ferozeshah Road, Devizes, was eager to repay the care he received while battling a rare form of kidney cancer eight years ago.
He said: “I can’t run a marathon or do a bungee jump. I have been milking cows all my working life and I thought this was the best way or raising some money for charity.”
Mr Beale with the support and practical help of his wife Wendy arranged with five local farmers to travel between farms in Rowde, Allington, Avebury, Great Cheverell and Poulshot from 11am last Wednesday to 11am on Thursday.
In that time he relieved 1,790 cows of their lactose burdens.
Mr Beale said: “I didn’t feel too bad. I just kept going until I had milked the last cow. The cows were all very well behaved.The only thing to suffer were my feet from wearing wellingtons for 25 hours. Other than that I was fine.”
It was not just Mr Beale who made a sacrifice to help out. His seven-year-old granddaughter, Poppy, had 14 inches of her long hair cut off and earned £45 for the two charities. Mr Beale said: “I thought that was a lovely thing for her to have done. She didn’t need any prompting. She thought of it herself.”
Mr Beale never thought he would see his 65th birthday after he was diagnosed with kidney cancer in 2005. His older brother, Brian, had died of a similar condition in 1990 at the age of 52.
He underwent surgery and the cancer was removed without Mr Beale having to undergo chemotherapy. The Opportunity Centre was also chosen because of the family’s gratitude for its help in preparing Mr Beale’s grandson, Ethan, who suffers with dwarfism, for mainstream school, where he is now thriving.
Mr Beale said: “I would like to thank everyone who sponsored me. Also all the farmers and the cowmen and especially my family. My son-in-law Ian Ridout drove me from farm to farm and my wife Wendy organised the whole thing.”
Mr and Mrs Beale are still accepting sponsorship at uk.virginmoneygiving.com/GeraldBeale and there are sponsorship forms at Wadworth’s reception desk.