‘Super gran’ goes electric for latest charity challenge

A WOMAN who completed 105 challenges after turning 80 is planning to embark on her latest fundraising mission later this week in aid of three cancer charities.

Jean McLaughlin
Jean McLaughlin

Jean McLaughlin, whose 2018 challenges included taking part in a tandem skydive, abseiling down the side of Mont Orgueil and shaving her head, is now hoping to complete 50 circuits of the Les Quennevais cycle track on an electric scooter – around the equivalent of the perimeter of the Island.

The event, due to take place at 11am on Saturday, is being organised in aid of Cancer Research UK, MacMillan Cancer Support and Friends of Jersey Oncology.

Explaining why she wanted to complete the challenge, Mrs McLaughlin said: ‘Because of lockdown, no one has been able to do these sorts of things and charities are now struggling. The charities have to survive and I know that a lot of people are struggling to buy food and have lost their job, and businesses are going under – but if they can they should still support charities. It does not matter how much you give – it all makes a difference,’ she said.

‘My daughter died two years ago next month, from cancer, so I wanted to do a challenge again. She was such a fighter, she wanted to see her children grow up and was so happy-go-lucky during her treatment but the cancer was just so aggressive.

‘She would have turned 44 on 26 September, so I want to do it for the memory of Karryna but also for those people out there who are currently suffering from cancer.’

In 2018, after turning 80, Mrs McLaughlin completed a number of challenges, including shooting a bull’s -eye in archery, walking along the Airport runway and DJing in front of shoppers in town.

And the grandmother, nicknamed ‘super gran’, by her family, said she hoped the unusual nature of her latest idea would serve to pique the interest of prospective donors.

‘If I can do something that no one else has done before, it just makes it a bit more interesting. On the scooter, it takes about seven minutes to get around the track, so it will probably take around five or six hours in total, with a break in the middle. But it does not matter how long it takes,’ she said.

‘I want to thank everybody for their support so far and anybody who wants to support me can come up to the track on Saturday.’

A JustGiving page is due to be launched shortly and collection buckets will be in place at Les Quennevais cycle track on Saturday.

Donations can also be made by sending a cheque to Calcutta, Bellozanne Road, First Tower, St Helier, JE2 3JW.

Anyone able to lend Mrs McLaughlin their electric scooter while hers recharges can call her on 721171.

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