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Saturday, 01 November 2014

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Cumbrian man's cancer battle inspires major charity walk

This group of friends are out to show that fundraising is no walk in the park.

Cancer charity walk photo
Organiser Martyn Haughan, front right and John Raynes, front left

Around 50 people from the Penrith area will team up this weekend and attempt to tackle a 65-mile walk from the town’s medical centre to the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle.

They are doing the walk in the hope of raising around £10,000 for the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation, a charity set up in memory of the legendary football manager to help battle cancer.

The walk was organised by Martyn Haughan, 40, of Penrith, in support of his close friend John Raynes, 39, also from the town.

Mr Raynes, an HGV mechanic, has just been given the all-clear after twice battling Hodgkin’s lymphoma – a rare type of cancer.

He said: “I had the cancer two years ago and then got the all-clear, then it reappeared. I have now finished the treatment and just have to go back for check-ups.

“It is a cause that is close to the hearts of many of those doing it. So it is a way for them, I believe, to give something to it.”

He was initially treated at Carlisle’s Cumberland Infirmary but after the cancer came back, he was sent for treatment at the Freeman Hospital.

The group will set off at 6am on Saturday morning. It is expected to take them two days to complete. They will stop overnight in Hexham and will be aided in their journey by local minibus driver John Wilson.

“The idea started with just about a dozen of us after John had finished his treatment, then a lot of people joined us for their own reasons,” said Martyn.

“We tried to think of something that everyone could do. Walking is something that everyone can take part in. Some of us have been doing a bit of extra walking to prepare for it.”

Anyone who wishes to donate can leave money at the Barclays bank branch in Penrith.

JIrving@cngroup.co.uk

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