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Retired farmer's mission to support Ovarian Cancer Action as tribute to his late wife

28 February 2023

Mr Wigley's charity will fund life-saving research in the name of his late wife, Evelyn Wigley

After retiring from dairy farming, Emyr and Evelyn Wigley planned to travel, go on walking adventures, and enjoy time in their caravan. However, after Evelyn's sudden passing in 2015 from ovarian cancer, Mr Wigley decided to combat the "evil disease" in her memory.

He created The Old Stackyard British Blues, a closed breeding herd of pedigree British Blue cattle. Due to a recent injury, Mr Wigley auctioned his herd of 33 cattle in March, raising £81,000 for Ovarian Cancer Action and the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution (RABI). 
Through Mr Wigley's charity, the money raised will help ovarian cancer research, as well as support those in the farming community who need it the most.

“Our plans to travel and to enjoy caravan holidays and walking in the beautiful British countryside, which we both loved, were put on hold until our retirement. It was a devastating blow to learn in the first few years of our retirement that Evelyn had ovarian cancer. She was a very special lady, kind, caring and multi-talented. After a lifetime of work, the majority of her retirement years were stolen from her. Whilst tragically too late to help my dear Evelyn, I had to do something to help combat this evil disease, as a tribute to my wife.”

Mr Wigley

Both Ovarian Cancer Action and RABI have paid tribute to Mr Wigley's “exceptional” generosity and the “astounding” sum of money raised for the charities.

Claire Lubbock, Ovarian Cancer Action’s community and events manager, said: “At Ovarian Cancer Action, we are extremely grateful for the incredible funds Mr Wigley has raised for our charity with over the years, all in memory of Mrs Dilys Evelyn Wigley. 

“As the UK’s leading ovarian cancer research charity, this amazing and generous support has allowed us to focus on fuelling the breakthroughs we need in order to save the lives of more women – mothers, daughters, sisters and wives. 

 “Mr Wigley is possibly our first and last supporter who has sold pedigree cows to raise funds, but his incredible inventiveness, enthusiasm and sheer hard work has made a big difference to what we do at Ovarian Cancer Action. 

“To have raised over £122,000 to support both our charity and RABI is exceptional, and it is with sadness and huge gratitude that we approach this final sale. This sale is hoped to raise enough to fund a specialist researcher for an entire year. 

“This represents a big step closer to our goal of making ovarian cancer survivable for all women. We cannot thank Mr Wigley enough for everything he has done for us.“