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Hollywood actor launhes Walk of Life 2015

Popular Irish actor, comedian and film director Chris O’Dowd, best known for his roles in films “Bridesmaid’s” and TV series “IT Crowd” and “Girls”, took time out of his busy schedule whilst visiting Bath this month, to help launch The Forever Friends Appeal’s 2015 Walk of Life.

The Walk of Life, proudly sponsored by Kier Construction, is an annual event that challenges people across Bath, Somerset and Wiltshire to walk 21 miles along the Kennet and Avon canal between Devizes and Bath to raise funds for Cancer Care at Bath’s Royal United Hospital. Chris was in Bath this month to promote his first novel “Moone Boy” at Bath’s Komedia Club and was happy to officially launch the date for next year’s event, which has been set as Saturday 16th May 2015.

Over 300 people signed up to take part in the 2014 Walk of Life, some to celebrate the memory of lost loved ones, others to fundraise in support of friends or family members who are being treated at the RUH. Many were brave enough to take on the full 21 mile challenge, whilst others chose to walk 12 miles in the morning from Devizes to Bradford-On-Avon or 9 miles in the afternoon from Bradford-On-Avon to Bath.  This year’s event was a huge success, raising over £40,000 for the RUH Cancer Care Campaign. People are now being encouraged to sign up early for 2015 so they can start kick start their training and fundraising.

May 2015 will see the Appeal organizing the eighth annual Walk of Life event, which was created in 2008 in memory of Vanessa Kyte – a remarkably inspirational mum, daughter, sister, wife and friend who was diagnosed with cancer in the year 2000.  Seven years on, Vanessa passed away at her home in Rudge with her family around her and this weekend will see the seventh anniversary of Vanessa’s death. Vanessa’s sister Nic Noble comments:  Seven years have passed since Ness, my amazing fundraising sister, said goodbye. The total raised at this year’s event was incredible, and thank you so much, but painfully I am reminded about why we do the Walk of Life. Each year, another dear person is touched by cancer and shows me how fantastic the RUH’s Oncology team are at dealing with this disease and why we need the new Cancer Centre to help encompass them and the community. You can now register to take part in next year’ Walk of Life online, so when you’re thinking “I need a challenge!” over the Christmas period, do remember me and please sign up!

The Walk of Life 2015 is a positive walk to celebrate life, and sets off from Devizes Wharf, heads along the Kennet and Avon canal through Bradford-On-Avon and finishes just off the canal pathway in Sydney Gardens, Bath.  Walkers can choose to walk 9, 12 or 21 miles and are encouraged to raise sponsorship to go towards a pioneering new Cancer Centre.

One in three people are affected by cancer and everyday lives are changed by this disease.  The Forever Friends Appeal’s RUH Cancer Care Campaign is raising £8.5million towards the building of a pioneering new Cancer Centre.  This Cancer Centre will be a state of the art building, with every part designed around the needs of patients with different forms of cancer.  It will transform care for patients and their families at the RUH.

2015 will be the second year that construction company, Kier, has sponsored this popular annual event.  Kier is working in partnership with the RUH Bath NHS Foundation Trust on the redevelopment of the hospital site.  

Open to both men and women, early bird registrations are now open for the 2015 Walk of Life at just £15 per place when you sign up online via The Forever Friends website.

Events & Community Officer for The Forever Friends Appeal, Emily Lynch comments:  The Appeal were absolutely overwhelmed at the support for the 2014 Walk of Life – the event just keeps growing! The Events team is now busy making plans for next year’s walk, where regular walkers will see some exciting new changes to several aspects of the event, courtesy of both our supporters and lead sponsor Kier Construction!  We hope that as many people as possible will take advantage of our early bird online registrations between now and Christmas. To sign up to help better Cancer facilities for patients and their families at the RUH, simply our walk of Life page

Volunteer marshals are located on various locations along the Walk of Life route – handing out water, refreshments and encouragement.  Please contact the Appeal if you would like to volunteer your time to help marshal at the event.  To sign up for the 2015 Walk of Life online click here or call the events team on 01225 825823 for more information.

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