Going for a walk at one of the UK’s 27 World Heritage sites makes a lovely day out. Add in that the site is 1,892 years old and you have yourself quite an experience. However, when the walk is 84 miles and you have been fighting incurable Neuroendocrine Cancer for nearly 4 years which still requires daily treatment, you have yourself a fundraising challenge.
Over the period of 26 May – 31 May, Ronny and Christine Allan walked the entire length of Hadrian’s Wall, a total of 84 miles. Ronny is an army veteran, although he doesn’t want us to overestimate his fitness level, pointing out that he is “now 58 and been out of the army for some time!“. Age and fitness to one side, Ronny’s big challenge was completing the 84 mile walk with stage four Neuroendocrine Cancer. Not only has he undergone three major pieces of surgery and four interventional radiology procedures, but Ronny is still undergoing treatment including daily injections which had to be administered every day of the 6 day walk. Both Ronny and Christine trained hard for the event, walking 10-15 miles most days, however this couldn’t stop the sore feet and knees, nor the blisters which caused Christine to have to seek medical attention!
Neuroendocrine Cancer is rare and therefore does not get access to the funding and media coverage that other types of cancer do, and it can easily be misdiagnosed; Ronny’s cancer was discovered accidentally during a routine asthma check-up. All proceeds from the trek will be donated to the Pancreatic, Liver and Neuroendocrine Tumours (PLANETS) Charity, a charity which raises money to help the Southampton General Hospital’s pioneering work in treatment of pancreas, liver and neuroendocrine tumours, as well as patient support, research and education. Ronny is also asking that people sign an e-petition, which you can sign here, calling for more Gallium PET scanners for the UK, which better reveal tumours in the body than other scanners – currently there is just one in the UK which is in London.
Ronny told us about the walk, saying “the whole experience was wonderful, it’s such a beautiful area of the UK but rugged with mixed terrain (probably why our legs are feeling it)“. Their spirits were lifted on the hilly walk by visits from friends Nick, Dave and Jim at various points throughout their trek. The couple also experienced some adverse weather but, as Ronny said, they “had no option but to keep going despite the weather and the pain“. The couple ended their trek on 31 May but heading home to bed wasn’t on the cards; they went straight to the pub for a well deserved beer instead.
The couple have already raised £3,000 for the charity that means so much to them and their family. You can still support them by donating to their page and you can read more about Ronny’s experiences here.