A WOMAN, who lost her mum to cancer when she was just 18, is calling on people to step up to Cancer Research UK’s latest fundraising challenge.
Kathryn Jones, 33, and Shelley Bond, who works in Chester, are highlighting Walk All Over Cancer, which encourages men and women to get sponsored to walk 10,000 steps every day in March to raise money for the charity’s life-saving research.
Kathryn, from Deeside, was inspired to sign up in memory of her mum who died of breast cancer in February 2003 aged just 39.
She quickly drew on the support of her friend Shelley Bond, who is originally from Queensferry and now lives in Penyffordd, - and Shelley’s two dogs Neo and Walter - the pair came up with innovative ways to cram their 10,000 daily steps into their busy schedule including dancing down the supermarket aisles raising £800 for Cancer Research UK last year. This year she is ready to raise money again this March.
Kathryn said: “My mum was a fun, outgoing, smart individual. She passed away on 20 February 2003 and words cannot describe that day. Although it was 15 years ago it still feels like yesterday. I believe one day there will be a cure and every penny that is raised is one step closer to finding that cure.
“Losing my mum to cancer at such a young age was very scary and I’ve always tried to say fit and healthy.
“I signed up for Walk All Over Cancer last year because I wanted to raise money to support Cancer Research UK’s work and pay tribute to mum at the same time.
“I thought Walk All Over Cancer was a challenge that I could manage. I convinced Shelley to join me so we could spend time together, get more active and raise money for vital research to help other families affected by the disease. In total we raised over £800 and did regular videos to thank our sponsors.
“We got people to follow us on Facebook and Instagram and had them laughing and crying following our challenge. We walked up mountains, danced around dinner tables, I walked miles while on holiday in Iceland, Shelley was walking miles looking at her wedding venue and we even dancing up the supermarket aisles to make sure we got all our steps in each day.
“We made our gym sessions fun. You don’t have to be too serious about it. Walk All Over Cancer gets you active and gives you a goal and motivation and everyone can get involved.”
Alongside raising funds for vital research, taking part in Walk All Over Cancer comes with many health benefits. Being more active can help people maintain a healthy weight, which can reduce the risk of 13 different types of cancer. Walking 10,000 steps at a brisk pace could burn roughly 500 calories* – the same as 5 slices of margarita pizza.
Alison Barbuti, Cancer Research UK’s spokesperson for Chester, said: “We’d love the people of Chester to lace up their trainers and step up to the challenge. Taking part with friends or family, like Kathryn and Shelley, is a great way to motivate yourself to get moving.
“10,000 steps per day can seem like quite a challenge for many people. Some of us spend our lives transferring from seat to seat - whether that’s driving to work, sitting at a desk or enjoying a boxset on the sofa. But adopting small lifestyle changes – like taking the stairs or going for a stroll at lunchtime - can quickly up the step count. Adding your favourite music or walking to a beauty spot can be another good incentive to get moving.”
It’s easy to keep track of steps taken each day with many smartphone health apps, pedometers or wearable activity trackers.
Alison continued: “Every day, around 110 people are diagnosed with cancer in the North West*. Cancer survival in the UK has doubled since the early 1970s and Cancer Research UK’s work has been at the heart of that progress.
“Taking part in Walk All Over Cancer is a great way local people to support a great cause. Every stride taken, and every donation made, will help fund Cancer Research UK’s ground-breaking research to find ways to save more lives.”
To sign up now, visit www.cruk.org/walkallover