Fundraiser sells Paralympic Torch to help cancer hospiceBy Jon Nurse
September 11, 2012
A charity fundraiser has decided to sell her Olympic torch after a close friend was diagnosed with cancer.
Erica Betton, of Woosehill Lane, made the agonising decision to sell her torch on ebay after one of her best friends was diagnosed two months ago.
More than 20 bids have pushed the price to £1,550 with three days remaining in the auction.
The 28-year-old is raising money for the Phyllis Tuckwell Hospice in Farnham and is five weeks away from a sponsored climb of Mount Kilimanjaro for the centre.
She carried the Olympic flame through Slough on July 10, and said: “I’ve been battling for ages whether to sell the torch or not.
“Once the initial high had worn off I was looking at it thinking I’ve been given the chance to be a torchbearer because of my fundraising.
“A couple of months ago one of my best friends was diagnosed with cancer and has at least another six months left of her treatment.
“There is no reason why she won’t get through this and come out the other side a stronger woman because of it, but if she was ever one of those people who needed the support of the hospice then I would give everything to make sure they could help her. The torch is nothing in comparison.”
Miss Betton, who didn’t set a reserve price on her torch, said: “I just put it on and hoped for the best. I didn’t set myself a target and I don’t have a clue what it could go for – £1,500 is already a good amount and anything more would be great.
“I heard a guy a couple of months ago put it on sale and got £4,000 or £5,000.”
Five per cent of money raised in the ebay sale will go towards the adventurer’s seven-day charity climb of Mount Kilimanjaro in October.
She added: “It’s only a month away now – I’m starting to panic. This summer has been a whirlwind and so surreal. When I look back at everything that’s happened it seems quite unreal.”
To support Miss Betton on her climb visit www.justgiving.co.uk/kili2012 and search for Phyllis Tuckwell Hospice on ebay to view the torch.