A FORKLIFT truck driver from Froncysyllte turned his beard pink to raise money for a cancer charity in memory of his mother-in-law.
Spencer Cameron-Waller, who works at McCarthy Distribution on Wrexham Industrial Estate, also donned a pink hi-vis jacket and T-shirt for Breast Cancer Now as part of the charity’s Wear It Pink day.
The 47-year-old, who is a former infantry soldier with the Territorial Army, was keen to support the charity following the death of his mother-in-law Joan Evans, who died aged 62 after a two-year battle with the disease.
Spencer, who lives in Froncysyllte, near Llangollen, with his wife Jane, thanked his colleagues for digging deep to help him as well as McCarthy Distribution, where he has worked for eight years, which relaxed its uniform policy especially for him.
He said: “Everyone was shocked because they weren’t expecting to see me turn up with a dusty pink glittery beard! No one knew I was going to do that.
“I had to turn my beard pink because I’ve got more hair on my face than I do on my head! We have set clothing that we have to wear so I had to tell them about the pink hi-vis and they were great in making an exception for me.
“The staff here are very supportive and are always encouraging me because I’ve done a few fundraising activities in recent years.
“I brought my donation box and had members of my family who had already donated money. Everyone has been so generous giving what they can.”
Spencer’s bosses organised for pink cupcakes to be delivered on the day, made by the girlfriend of one of Spencer’s colleagues who runs her own business called Lucy’s Bakes, which his work mates enjoyed in return for a donation.
Mike McCarthy, Managing Director of McCarthy Distribution, said: “It came as bit of a shock to us all when Spencer turned up to work with a bright pink beard but he’s brightened up everyone’s day!
“His pink attire may not be our usual uniform colour of choice but we think it’s a great way of raising awareness of breast cancer and we’re really proud of his fundraising efforts.
“Spencer has become a keen supporter of many cancer charities following the loss of his mother-in-law from breast cancer and we will continue to support him in any way we can.”
Spencer, who is originally from Cardiff but has lived in the area since meeting his wife nearly 30 years ago, has previously taken part in Movember and Brave The Shave for Macmillan Cancer Support raising hundreds of pounds.
This is the first time he’s taken part in Breast Cancer Now’s Wear It Pink day, which is one of the UK’s biggest fundraising events, having amassed over £33 million since launching in 2002.
Spencer said: “Fundraising is something I wanted to do and one of the main reasons for it was Joan. It was a very hard time for my wife and the family when Joan was diagnosed with breast cancer.
“I was in Basra in Iraq at the time serving as an infantry soldier with the Territorial Army so it was very difficult. Initially Joan found a small lump and reassured us there was nothing to be concerned about.
“When I got back in June 2004 after seven months in Iraq Joan had started chemotherapy. She went through a lot of treatment but unfortunately the cancer got gradually worse and spread throughout her body.
“It’s the worst feeling in the world to lose a loved one and that’s why I want to support charities to help them find a cure.”I think it’s also important to be aware of the amount of men who develop breast cancer. It never occurred to me that men could get it so it’s good to raise awareness of that.”