This will not be a normal summer. Whereas most of us would normally venture off to bronze ourselves in the Mediterranean or repose in the south of France, coronavirus has confiscated these privileges. In a mild bout of lockdown ennui, therefore, Piers and I have decided to make use of the British countryside (perhaps the only thing at our disposal) and walk from our homes in Gloucestershire all the way to Scotland, starting on Friday 26th June.
We originally intended for the walk to not be charitable, instead as a way to keep ourselves occupied and challenged, but events over the last few weeks have changed our minds.
A close friend of ours very sadly lost his father, Simon, on 14 June, after a courageous battle with cancer. It is for his memory we would like to dedicate our walk and raise money for charities which would have been close to him.
The first charity we have chosen is the Royal Marsden Cancer Charity. He was with them towards the end and they gave exceptional care.
The second charity is the Shipwrights’ Apprenticeship Scheme. Very shortly after lockdown, Simon was installed as Prime Warden of The Worshipful Company of Shipwrights. As Prime Warden, he was responsible for the charitable aims and the apprenticeship scheme was his first chosen charity. It encourages small maritime businesses to take on apprentices at formal Level 3 apprenticeships and the Worshipful Company funds the first year's salary. Simon was particularly passionate about this cause, and it would have meant a lot to him to know that it was being supported.
The third charity we have chosen is called 40tude. It is a Colon Cancer specific charity that raises funds for pioneering research targeted at the early diagnosis and treatment of colon cancer AND importantly raising the awareness of the importance of screening over the age of 45. Sophie Kverndal wishes to raise the awareness and importance of early screening for colon cancer for those over 45 yrs old.
It is vital and sadly Sophie believes that if Simon had been screened earlier then he would be here today. For non-smokers colon cancer is the most common cause of cancer death in the UK. One in 15 men and one in 20 women are at risk of developing this kind of cancer. However, if it is identified early, it’s one of the easiest cancers to treat. 40tude has learned that heightened awareness of colon cancer is essential, particularly for anyone over 45. Any abdominal symptoms or change in bowel habit should be discussed immediately with your doctor, whatever your age.
Please click on the link below as it tells you everything you need to know about bowl cancer: Source: Dr Mark Porter’s article in The Times: https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/bowel-cancer-what-are-the-symptoms-and-when-should-you-see-a-doctor-jn2l9ttwn?shareToken=eaaa793054f5278ab87c65aeb0fb785b
Please do contact your GP if you are in any doubt about your symptoms. It is better to be safe than sorry.
Simon was one of the kindest and most generous people you could meet, and it was extremely sad to hear that he had left us before his time. We feel that doing this walk and raising this money is the least we could do to fight this deadly disease. We thank you in advance for any donations: they will be going towards three great causes in the memory of a very special man.
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