Best friends’ epic charity walk in mum’s memory

When champion ballroom dancer Alexandra Hixson’s mum Pam died of lung cancer in 2019, her best friend Louise Jones was right by her side.

Alex and Louise

Alex and Louise

Putting their best foot forward

Now, the friends are putting their best foot forward in memory of Pam and in honour of Louise’s daughter, Lana, who suffers from juvenile arthritis, needing frequent injections for the pain.

The pair, who have known each other since childhood, will be walking 311 miles to raise more than £5000 in aid of four charities that have supported their loved ones – one of which is Wessex Cancer Trust.

From Blackpool to Bournemouth

Louise, 36, and Alex, 34, – who is UK National Champion and International Rising Star Champion, will set off from Blackpool Empress Ballroom at the Winter Gardens on Mother’s Day – the day Pam’s cancer took a turn for the worse.

Alex and Andrey

Alex and her dance partner, Andrey (photo courtesy of Rob Potter) 

They will complete their 25-mile-a-day trek 14 days later at The Picadilly Ballroom, Bournemouth, on 9th April – the day Alex’s mum, Pam, died at home surrounded by her loved ones.

“I’ll draw on my mum’s strength”

“My mum was always my number one supporter at every competition held in Blackpool, so it had to start there,” Alex says.

“The dates have a lot of significance. To throw into the mix it’s also my mum’s birthday in those two weeks, so I know it’s going to be hard, but I couldn’t think of a better way to cope with it and be with my best friend, who was so incredible in those times.

“When my mum was going through palliative care, it was the first time I’ve had to care for somebody. As difficult as it was to watch, I will never forget my mum’s strength. When I want to give up on the walk, I will think of those final days I had with my mum and I will draw on her strength.”

“Pam is certainly our inspiration,” says Louise, “she was like a second mum to me.”

Alex and her dance partner Andrey have danced together, representing England, for over 10 years, competing all over the world in the ballroom category. They were UK Amateur Champions and are reigning International Professional RS Champions.

Alex and Louise will be raising money for Wessex Cancer Trust and the Roy Castle Foundation, in memory of Pam, who received treatment for multiple cancers before she was diagnosed with lung cancer, and for Children’s Chronic Arthritis Association (CCAA) and Southampton Hospital Charity. They’ve raised £1,380 so far.

Louise said they chose their funny fundraising name, Holy Walkamole, for no other reason than: “We just googled funny walking names and we also love chips and dip. It’s very us!”

How you can get involved

Help Alex and Louise reach their target by clicking here.

Follow their progress at https://www.facebook.com/holywalkamole and https://www.instagram.com/holy.walkamole/?hl=en-gb

This is really out of our comfort zone. We’re doing it to say thank you to the charities who have helped us through our journeys. They’ve been incredible.

Louise