Run raises vital cash for seriously ill Penny

Penny's Fund run
Penny's Fund run

A GROUP of kind-hearted runners and bikers has raised almost £2,000 for a Belper woman with two life-threatening illnesses.

Danielle Brown, who manages The Spanker Inn, in Nether Heage, organised a 10km run around Belper and Heage to raise cash for Penny’s Fund, which is in aid of Penny Wheeler.

It took place last Saturday, April 2, and even the village vicar, the Rev Derek Beech, jumped on his bike and got involved!

In total, Danielle’s team of runners and bikers raised about £1,800 for Penny, 52, who suffers from two life-threatening conditions – scleroderma and pulmonary fibrosis.

Scleroderma is incurable and causes the body to attack itself, while pulmonary fibrosis causes Penny’s lungs to scar and makes it increasingly difficult for her to breathe.

Penny’s Fund was set up last winter to help Penny and her husband, Nick, fund a portable oxygen supply that aids breathing and a drug that may stop her breathing getting any worse, and various trips to London to see lung specialists.

Speaking about Saturday’s run, Danielle said: “I would like to thank everyone who took part on the day, everyone was really enthusiastic and did so well.

“I would also like to thank LB Plastics, JC Balls and Bowmer and Kirkland for their kind donations.

“We received an excellent response from customers at the pub and from friends and family.

“I have known Penny’s mum, Barbara, for a long time and really wanted to do something to help Penny.

“The run just seemed the perfect thing to do and something that lots of people could get involved in.”

Nick, Penny’s husband, said of the fundraisers: “Penny and I would like to thank Danielle and everyone who took part in the run. Well done to them all.”

The fund for Penny, of Beaurepaire Crescent, was started after her mum organised a sponsored walk.

Others got in on the act and began organising events in aid of the fund and soon a committee was formed.

Son Dan organised a music festival in Derby, called PennyFest, and daughter Megan did a sponsored body wax for men at her university in Sunderland.

To find out more about Penny’s Fund, visit and search for Penny’s Fund.