This September, fourteen incredible individuals from Bath, Bristol, Somerset and Wiltshire will take the first of thousands of steps as part of a six day trekking challenge along the Great Wall of China. In the months leading up to departure, each trekker has worked extremely hard to raise vital funds for The Forever Friends Appeal’s RUH Cancer Care Campaign. From cake sales, band nights, clothes swaps to raffles and a very apt Panda naming game; they have raised a combined total surpassing £40,000 towards the new Cancer Centre at the Royal United Hospital in Bath – and they’re still going!
Each of the fourteen trekkers have their own personal reasons and stories for taking part, but all have one thing in common – a remarkable focus to support their local hospital and help transform cancer services for the future.
The trekking team includes: Rebecca Brooks, Karen Burge, Russell Corbett, Jacqueline Cousins, Dr Dorothy Goddard, Dr Hugh Goddard, Sarah Leybourne, Paula Richards, Christine Walters, Sue Gilby, Sally Smith, Patricia Symons, Alex Whiting and Biddy Walcot.
Among the fourteen includes five members of RUH staff, including Dr Dorothy Goddard who has recently retired as the Director of the Breast Unit to become Associate Medical Director for Cancer Strategy at the hospital and sees on a daily basis just how important a new Cancer Centre is, not only for current and future patients, but also clinicians and staff members alike.
The team will walk up to seven hours a day as part of the six days of tough trekking, and will be challenged early on in their journey with a 200 step near-vertical ascent up ‘Heavens Ladder’ to the top of a mountain. Whilst some portions of the Wall have been extensively renovated there are many parts which have been left virtually untouched by modern man, taking the trekkers out of their comfort zones to experience it all! Passing though watch towers, traditional farming villages, valleys and mountains this ancient wonder has already lead the group to some amazing fundraising achievements before they even set foot in China.
The Forever Friends Appeal’s RUH Cancer Care Campaign is raising £8.5 million towards a pioneering Cancer Centre at The Royal United Hospital in Bath. This new Centre will transform the care for patients and their families affected by this life changing diagnosis. The hospital is planning on replacing its outdated 1940s cancer facilities, with a state-of-the-art £23.5 million Cancer Centre (66% NHS funded / 33% charitable funds) fit for purpose that will bring treatment ‘under one roof’.
This new Cancer Centre will take inspiration and draw on experiences from the RUH’s most recently completed development project, The Dyson Centre for Neonatal Care (NICU) which has won 10 National & International Awards since its opening in July 2011. It will take a similar holistic approach, as with NICU, and provide a soothing and relaxing environment for patients and their families that will transform the patient experience.
Laura Pearce, Events Fundraiser for the Appeal comments: “We are so proud and grateful to all of our China trekkers and those who have supported them so far. They have all worked incredibly hard, not only to train and prepare for this physical challenge but to help raise significant funds for the build of the new Cancer Centre – £40,000 is no easy feat! We now wish them the very best of luck on their Great Wall adventure where they can create memories that will last a lifetime, with the knowledge that each step they take is one step closer to a pioneering Cancer Centre at the RUH.”
Although places on this challenge are now full up, there are plenty of ways to get involved and challenge yourself including Ted’s Big Day Out!, places in the Vitality Bath Half Marathon and a trekking challenge in 2015! For more information visit the events section of this website or give Laura a call on 01225 821535.