As has been the topic of choice at Leukaemia Care over the past few weeks, exercise can greatly benefit leukaemia patients both before and after treatment; It can improve your quality of life and help you to feel better.
However, exercise can be daunting for patients especially when they are feeling fragile after treatment and for this reason, walking is often a good way to start. You can tailor it specifically to your needs in time, intensity and when it is convenient for you. It doesn’t matter how many steps you do a day, whether it’s a few hundred or more, you can build on this.
This Thursday we are saying thank you to all the ramblers who have led a sponsored walk for Leukaemia Care in the past.
William Keenan and Gerald McAteer took on the West Highland Way in 1986
This picture, taken in July 1986 shows William Keenan (left) and his son-in-law Gerald McAteer at Milngavie, about to embark on their 96 mile walk of the West Highland Way in aid of Leukaemia Care. Little did they know the walk would result in Gerald being off work for the entire summer! Not long after leaving Milngavie, Gerald began to feel a pain in his back – and to his credit, Gerald and his father in law bared the pain and the rain and completed the full distance in 12 weeks, taking them 4 days and raising a substantial amount of money for the charity. Soon after arriving home, Gerald discovered he had slipped a disk in his back and had to take 12 weeks off work!
Jim and Sheena Bisset’s West Highland Way in 1989
It appears the West Highland Way was a popular choice of walk in the 1980s. Jim Bisset and his wife, Sheena also decided to brave the 96 miles in 1989, accompanied by four friends in aid of Leukaemia Care. Their eight-year-old son, Andrew, was diagnosed with leukaemia at the age of 2.
Typical of most British summers, on the day they set off, the heavens opened and they were drenched. So much so that they were forced to ditch the tents and stay the night at a youth hostel.
They also quickly found out they hadn’t brought enough food and drink with along with them. Luckily mother nature was able to be of assistance.
In spite of quite a few hardships along the way, the group were delighted to complete the walk, as is evident by their faces. They raised over £4000 in total for Leukaemia Care!
Michael Clifford’s 12-hour sponsored Christmas Walk in Coventry, 1988
L to R: “Lady Godiva”, Lady mayoress, Michael Clifford, Lord Mayor, Scott Dunne and Billy Dunne.
December 12th 1987 was a cold day. The city centre was deserted at 8:00 in the morning, except for four figures: Coventry’s charity walker, Michael Clifford, his daughter, Julie, Billy Dunne and his son, Scott.
Michael’s other daughter, Jane, who had leukaemia, had challenged her dad to do a 12 hour sponsored city centre walk as a fundraising event for the society, and determined not to let his daughter down, Michael leapt at the challenge.
The day passed very quickly with help from local members of the Society, relatives and friends, on the “tin shaking”. The walking went well but with so many generous people wanting to make donations during the peak shopping time, walking became impossible and they had to resort to standing still to collect money. They raised a tremendous amount of money for the charity.
After midday the Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress arrived along with “Lady Godiva”, to present a cheque to boost the funds and a photo (above) was taken for the local papers.
Perhaps you have been inspired by these walkers of old, to conquer Ben Nevis in the Heart of the breath-taking Western Highlands. Find out more about the challenge here. http://leukaemiacare.org.uk/get-involved/take-on-a-challenge/trek-ben-nevis/
Or possibly the 12-hour tin walkers have motivated you to volunteer for Leukaemia Care.
Take a look at our other volunteering opportunities here http://leukaemiacare.org.uk/get-involved/volunteering/
Whether you could spare minutes or hours, days or weeks, super market collecting or cheering along our marathon runners this year, you can make a meaningful difference to the lives of people affected by blood cancer.