The first virtual walking marathon created by The Forever Friends Appeal has been a hailed a great success, with more than 4,500 miles covered by participants.
During September, the charity saw participants clock up 4,657 miles to raise much-needed funds for the Royal United Hospital in Bath.
Thanks to the 197 people who took part in the My Walk of Life Marathon, the charity has received £34,225 to help transform patient care on the hospital’s wards, with some of funds also going towards the Dyson Cancer Centre and the Speech and Language Therapy Appeal.
Rhyannon Boyd, Head of Fundraising, The Forever Friends Appeal said: “I would like to thank everyone who’s taken part. You’ve really helped make a difference to our patients and their families.
“We missed seeing our supporters take to the canal path this year, however we’ve loved seeing everyone’s updates online and reading our walker’s stories about why they are walking for the RUH.
“We’ve also enjoyed seeing peoples’ photos as they‘ve walked the 26.2 mile distance in a day or throughout the month as they recorded their daily steps. Thank you for supporting our local hospital.”
The charity welcomed a number of teams who fundraised collectively, including staff tracking their steps to raise money for their wards and families and friends walking together virtually to raise funds in memory of a loved one.
For many of the other participants, The My Walk of Life Marathon was seen as an opportunity to thank hospital staff by raising funds because of their own personal connection with the RUH.
Alan Morley, aged 70 from Bath, took part to raise funds for the RUH’s cancer services.
Alan said: “Thank you to all who have sponsored me and kept me going. Since lockdown I have been walking long distances and I thought 26.2 miles in a month would be easy so I decided to walk at least a marathon each week until the end of September and I managed to walk 353 miles in total.
“My reason for doing this is because I had bowel cancer in 2009 and after surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy at the RUH I was given the all clear in August 2015.
“However a year later it was discovered that I had a different and rare cancer called pseudomyxoma peritonei which affects three people per million per year worldwide.
“My treatment was done at one of the two hospitals in the UK that treat this cancer, however all my ongoing diagnostic tests and oncology consultations are conducted at the RUH. So, this was my way to say thank you to the staff for looking after me for the last 11 years.”
The Forever Friends Appeal is inviting anyone wishing to take part in next year’s Walk of Life, taking place on Saturday 18th September 2021, to sign up at www.foreverfriendsappeal.co.uk.