We’re inviting supporters to step up for our 2,500-mile challenge – by walking the distance between our support centres 20 times – for Walk for Hope 2020.
Our flagship fundraising event, which was due to be held in the New Forest in June, returns in a different format this year because of the Coronavirus pandemic.
On Sunday 6th September, walkers will come together virtually to clock up the target mileage as a team by completing 20 laps of a route linking our four support centres in Hampshire, Dorset and the Isle of Wight.
Philip Dinn, who lives in Brockenhurst, walked ten miles at the 2019 event and says it’s really important for people to come together and support Walk for Hope, even though we can’t be together in person.
“From experience, I know that when you’re diagnosed with cancer it’s important that you can find something that can take you from your lowest ebb to being filled with hope for the future. Wessex Cancer Trust does that with the support it provides in its local communities, and it’s been working harder than ever to keep that support going throughout the pandemic.”
Philip was diagnosed with blood cancer myelodysplasia with a high risk of developing into leukaemia. He discovered his illness in an urgent message from his GP after a routine pre-diabetes blood test. He spent about a year waiting for his own bone marrow transplant, during which he had to undergo chemotherapy to keep the cancer at bay.
As well as taking part in Walk for Hope, Philip has fully immersed himself in the Wessex Cancer Trust community over the years. As president of the New Forest Rotary Club, he chose to support Wessex Cancer Trust as its charity of the year, sought support from our Waterside Support Centre and can be found belting out tunes at our Sing for Life choir in Totton.
Philip says he chose to take part in Walk for Hope because having hope was an important part of his recovery.
“When I first saw the information about the event, I thought, ‘what a great thing to do.’ Some other charity events seemed a bit depressing, but I immediately thought, “I’m going to do that walk. It sounds inspirational.”
As well as raising money for people living with cancer in our local communities, Philip also helped to raise cancer awareness by taking part in Walk for Hope:
“While we were on the walk, two cyclists stopped to talk to us,” he explains. “I told him why I was there and he said he had a letter about bowel cancer screening as he was 60 but had been putting it off, but seeing us had prompted him to do something about it. That conversation could have saved his life. Walk for Hope is important for so many reasons and I urge everyone who can to get involved.”
Even though we won’t be together physically this year, this is the perfect way to come together as a community and give hope to friends and family undergoing cancer treatment, celebrate those who have survived, remember loved ones and support everyone affected by cancer.
You can register at www.walkforhope.co.uk and set up your fundraising page. You can also link your Strava or FitBit account to track your miles. There’s a fundraising leaderboard to help you monitor your progress and compete with friends and family.
Headline Sponsor – Irwin Mitchell
T-shirt Sponsor – Drive Personnel