Ryan Greenhalgh was born in 1993 and in 2014 at the celebration of his 21st birthday he decided not to ask for presents but to seek donations for charity. He raised £1,067.22 which was split between Derian House and Macmillan Cancer Care. The catalyst for this was the death of Ryan’s friend Alex who was the grandson of an East Lancashire Mason. Alex was 26 years old.
So for his 22 birthday Ryan wondered how he could possible improve on that? The answer for him was easy; he would participate in the Great North Swim, which consisted of swimming a mile in the cold and choppy waters of Lake Windermere surrounded by hundreds of other participants. This in itself is no mean feat but when you also add to the mix that Ryan had never experienced open water swimming before, that he was working permanent nights, staying two hundred miles from home whist working and had to juggle this with a busy and gruelling training schedule. Any money raised he would donate to Cancer Research.
Ryan entered the event with his good friend Matt Jones who was raising money for The Christie. Poignantly Alex’s father, aunty and cousin all took part in this most difficult of challenges.
Ryan, whose father Michael is a member of Lever Park Lodge No 8144, said: ”I was determined to take part for Alex’s sake and for all the people who have been affected by cancer. It was difficult fitting in the training whilst working away from home, but I thoroughly enjoyed the challenge of that and taking part in the event.”
Ryan eventually raised £1,177, Matt just less than £500, which with gift aid will be considerably enhanced. A second truly wonderful gesture from two remarkable young men!