Poker players go underwater in cancer charity challenge

A CHARITY fund-raiser is preparing to dive deep to take part in Europe’s first underwater poker game in memory of his wife.

Gina Stanley died earlier this year following a battle with endometrial cancer.

Her husband John, 46, of Hillsborough, Sheffield, racked his brains to think of a way to say thanks to staff from Macmillan Cancer Support for their help supporting her at the city’s Royal Hallamshire Hospital - and decided to combine his twin loves of poker and diving.

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Now he hopes to raise £5,000 for the charity which also helped his father, grandparents and his wife’s parents when they were diagnosed with cancer.

He said: “One night I was struggling to get to sleep and thought about what I could do to raise money to help people who were going through the kind of things we had been through. I don’t like running, cycling, but I love poker and diving so I put the two together.

“Macmillan provide so much support and help to everyone affected by cancer in so many ways.

“The Macmillan nurses at the Hallamshire were there for Gina when she had her surgery, they can provide practical help on things like finances, even providing grants for people who need them, basically any help you or your family might need while going through the nightmare of cancer is available through them.”

Mr Stanley will be dealing the cards to six other players at the table who plan to raise a minimum of £191 each for the charity - the amount it costs to fund a Macmillan nurse for a day.

Rob Turner, fund-raising manager for Macmillan, said: “This is going to be a fantastic event and one of the most unusual fund-raising efforts we’ve ever seen.

“The money raised will help us to continue providing vital services across Sheffield from financial aid to emotional support to ensure that no one faces cancer alone.”

The event, organised in partnership with Dive World and Napoleons Casino, will be held at Ponds Forge pool in Sheffield on Saturday from 4.30pm-8pm.

People who want to watch the game close up can dive to the bottom of the pool in return for a donation to the charity. To sponsor Mr Stanley visit http://www.justgiving.com/underwaterpoker.