I am undertaking a sponsored walk starting at the end of January 2008, from Gosport to Rome, a total of 1,200 miles in memory of my late wife Anne. The aim is to raise monies for 4 charities that Anne supported and the project is called “Return to ROMANCE”, which stands for Return to ROMe for ANne and CharitiEs.
The route takes me from Gosport to Portsmouth, across the channel to Caen and onward through France and Italy, arriving in Rome in mid May 2008. In addition to the walk there will also be a charity golf event at the end of June 2008 which will include an auction to raise further monies for the charities.
The beneficiaries of my walk will be Action Aid, two local charities; Harbour Cancer Support Centre based in Gosport and the Friends of Oncology and Radiotherapy Cancer Charity (FORT) based at St Mary’s Hospital Portsmouth who support sufferers and their families across Southern and Eastern Hampshire and West Sussex. The fourth is organised by the Catholic Church in Gosport, which is twinned with the parish of Mbetta in Cameroon and raises funds for education, health as well as pastoral projects in the area.
Each charity will receive an equal share of all monies raised.
Anne was born in Easington in 1957, grew up in Seaham Harbour and was educated in Seaham and Sunderland before joining the Royal Navy as a nurse in 1975.
Anne was first diagnosed with cancer in August 2001 and over the next four years, suffered from three different types: Hodgkin’s lymphoma, bowel cancer and liver cancer (twice). During that period, Anne underwent chemotherapy via peripherally inserted central catheters (PICC lines) for over 20 months and had three major operations until she was in remission from the Hodgkin’s, clear of bowel cancer, had recovered from her latest liver surgery and had been given the all clear by her surgeon, much to mine and her family’s relief.
Having fully recovered, she commenced a precautionary course of chemotherapy in early November 2005 to eradicate any rogue cells that may have remained. Unfortunately, on 23 November Anne developed what appeared to be flu, hospital tests did not reveal anything suspicious and she appeared to be recovering. Her sudden and unexpected death on the 26 November 2005 aged 48 turned out to be due to a rapidly developed infection in her heart.
Anne was a qualified midwife and nurse and from day one she never complained or wanted to hide away and was determined to win her battles. Whenever able, she carried on working as a midwife in Southampton and Portsmouth and later as a nurse in the radiology department at the Royal Hospital Haslar in Gosport. Her experience as a nurse and cancer sufferer enabled her to support others who were starting treatment by giving advice when having intravenous lines fitted in the radiology department and also on the oncology ward when starting their chemotherapy, often while she was having her own treatment.
Anne and I were due to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary in Rome in March 2006 and she would have celebrated her 50th birthday in June 2007. This sponsored walk is to honour that plan and to celebrate a life taken suddenly but also importantly to acknowledge many of the people / charities that Anne supported or which supported us through Anne’s time of need.
If you would like to join me in walking some of the route and are happy to obtain sponsorship, require information about the golf event, want to provide non-financial support or just want general information about the walk etc, please e mail me at Ret2rom@aol.com
You can sponsor me through my ‘Just Giving’ site.
Donating through this site is simple, fast and totally secure. It is also the most efficient way to donate: FORT Cancer Charity will receive your money electronically and, if you are a UK taxpayer, an extra 28% in Gift Aid will be added to your donation at no cost to you.
Once all monies have been collected, FORT will ensure that each of the four charities included in this fundraising project receive 25% of the monies.
Please donate generously.
Many thanks for your support.
What a fantastic person. Give, if you want and can.