TWO brothers inspired by their late mother’s brave battle against cancer are embarking on a series of challenges this year to raise £50,000 in her memory.
Joe and Nick Burkmar, of Lytchett Matravers, are planning a 250 mile bicycle ride from Poole to Paris and the 10-mile Great South Run in Portsmouth in aid of Cancer Research UK and Forest Holme Hospice in Poole.
The men’s mum Mandie died at the hospice in December 2011 at the age of 46.
Poole High School PE teacher Joe, 25, said: “We miss mum every day but we are determined to make her proud.
“We felt this would be a good way to remember her and celebrate her passion for life. She was just an inspiration.
“We also wanted to do it because no matter how many times we said ‘thank you’ to the hospice for making her so comfortable and looking after her, it never seemed enough.
“We wanted to do something extra and hopefully help other people.
“Mum absolutely loved being at Forest Holme. It’s such a positive place and really had a wonderful influence on her recovery from many difficult operations.”
Sous chef Nick, 19, who works at the Old Vicarage in Hinton, said: “Mum is still in my mind, saying ‘carry on’, and it is that that will keep us going through all our fundraising challenges.”
Mandie had to have her right lung removed after being diagnosed with lung cancer in 2007.
After the disease spread to her blood, she was given three years to live.
Vowing to live her remaining life to the full, she travelled and surrounded herself with her family – renewing her vows with her husband Richard in April 2010.
Her sons have created the Mandie Burkmar Foundation to support their chosen charities and will be holding the first fundraising event at the Royal Bath Hotel in Bournemouth on March 16.
Retired police officer Richard, 49, said: “I’m so proud of the boys for setting up the foundation.
“It’s a challenge to hear Mandie’s name all the time as it reminds me of how much I miss her, but she would be so proud of everyone involved.
“It’s perfect that the first event is a ball, as Mandie loved getting dressed up and dancing the night away.
“She was always the last one on the dance floor.”
The brothers will be doing their bike ride in August, while Joe will be joining a group of friends in the Great South Run.
Other events in the pipeline include a charity golf day at Broadstone, a fashion show and paintballing. To find out more or to donate, see mandieburkmarfoundation.com Donations of £5 can be made to Cancer Research by texting TMBF50 – or TMBF51 for Forest Holme – to 70070.